Central kitchen operator fined $6k for hygiene lapses

A central kitchen operator that makes cooked meals was fined $6,000 in court yesterday for failing to ensure that its premises were properly maintained and kept clean, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said yesterday.

Several hygiene lapses were found in Obayed Holdings' central kitchen at Food Xchange @ Admiralty during routine inspections by SFA on Sept 5 and Nov 15, the agency said. These included widespread cockroach infestation, structural damage, such as cracked floor tiles in the cooking room, as well as poor housekeeping, which resulted in the presence of houseflies and ants in the cutting room.

The food safety inspectors also found dead cockroaches in pots and cockroach eggs on a stove.

Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority records show that Obayed Holdings, which is wholly owned by Bangladeshi national Obaidur Rahman, has a paid-up capital of $250,000 and has been operating since 2008.

Formerly known as Obayed Restaurant and Catering, it supplies food to the construction industry.

SFA said that food safety is a joint responsibility as food can be contaminated anywhere along the food chain. "While SFA continues to be vigilant and works to ensure that regulatory measures are in place and properly enforced, the industry and consumers must also play their part," it said.

SFA warned that it would take action against food operators who flout regulations or do not comply with food hygiene and food safety requirements.

They can be fined up to $5,000 and face a further fine of up to $100 for every day the offence continues after conviction.

Members of the public who come across poor hygiene practices in food establishments are advised to provide feedback via www.sfa.gov.sg/feedback or call 6805-2871 with details for follow-up investigations.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 27, 2019, with the headline 'Central kitchen operator fined $6k for hygiene lapses'. Print Edition | Subscribe