SINGAPORE - Plaza Singapura's Toast Box has been suspended for two weeks for a rodent and cockroach infestation, with the management closing the store to renovate and ramp up its cleanliness standards.
According to a suspension notice on the National Environment Agency's website put up on Friday (May 25), the stall at #01-23 at 68 Orchard Road was suspended from Friday to June 7.
Toast Box's regional general manager Vincent Lim told The Straits Times on Saturday that the outlet fully acknowledges the results of the NEA assessment, "which reflected that there were improvements needed in the cleanliness and hygiene standards at our outlet".
He said the eatery has taken immediate action to address the findings, calling in pest control and sanitising the entire outlet.
"We also took the proactive approach to close the store for renovation in order to rectify the defects and identified issues before this NEA enforced closure," said Mr Lim.
"During this closure, we will further reinforce our standard operating procedures and training with our staff," he said. "We would like to assure all that food safety and quality remains a priority to us, and we are committed to serving customers in accordance with official regulations."
The store accumulated 12 demerit points over the last 12 months for failing to keep its licensed premises free of rodent and cockroach infestation, NEA said in its suspension notice. It was also fined $800.
Licensees who accumulate 12 or more demerit points during a 12-month period may have their licences suspended for either two or four weeks, or cancelled altogether.
All food handlers who work in the suspended premises would also be required to attend and pass the Basic Food Hygiene Course again, before they can resume work as food handlers.
NEA said it takes a serious view of these offences and would like to remind food operators to observe good food and personal hygiene practices at all times, and to engage only registered food handlers.
Members of the public who come across poor hygiene practices in food establishments may call NEA's 24-hour contact centre on 1800-CALL NEA (1800-2255-632) with details for follow-up investigations.
The BreadTalk Group - which includes brands like BreadTalk, Toast Box and Food Republic - was founded in 2000 and now has close to 1,000 outlets in 17 locations.