Customer finds maggots in live crabs bought from FairPrice, given refund

Rowyn Cai wanted to wash the crabs to steam them for dinner when he noticed "a lot of things moving" inside the bag.
Rowyn Cai wanted to wash the crabs to steam them for dinner when he noticed "a lot of things moving" inside the bag.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK / ROWYN CAI

SINGAPORE - A retired logistics manager who was hoping to whip up a seafood feast for his family on Thursday (Jan 24) was shocked to find maggots in the bag of live crabs he bought from FairPrice Finest.

Mr Rowyn Cai, 58, told The Straits Times on Friday that he had bought three live crabs, weighing about 1.3kg in total, from the supermarket chain's outlet at Junction 8 in Bishan at about 2pm. He paid around $40.

An hour later, he wanted to wash the crabs to steam them for dinner when he noticed "a lot of things moving" inside the bag.

Mr Cai shared a video of the bag of crabs in a Facebook group on Thursday afternoon and wrote in the post: "I just bought three live crabs from J8 NTUC and after an hour, I saw many live maggots on the crabs though the crabs were still alive."

He told ST that there were about 12 live crabs for sale when he was at the supermarket at the time but he did not notice that anything was amiss.

After he discovered the maggots, he quickly returned to the supermarket and spoke to the branch manager, who offered him a refund.

When Mr Cai asked the manager for an explanation on how the incident could have happened, he claimed that the manager did not give a satisfactory reply.

"I need them to be accountable and I need them to investigate. They should check and trace the customers who bought this batch of crabs and make sure that they are okay," said Mr Cai, who has previously bought prawns from the Junction 8 outlet but not crabs.

He added that he was seeking reassurance that such an incident would not happen again.

"I hope FairPrice can look into their standard operating procedures for handling seafood and ensure that there is proper food hygiene," he said.

Instead of cooking dinner at home, Mr Cai and his family ate at a coffee shop near his Housing Board block instead.

 
 
 

"I don't think I will dare to eat crabs for some time," he added.

In response to ST's queries on Friday, a FairPrice spokesman confirmed that a refund was given to Mr Cai.

The supermarket chain has been in contact with the customer and the crab supplier, and is currently investigating the case "to ascertain the type of foreign organism found on the product and the cause of it", the spokesman said.

"Checks on existing stocks did not reveal any anomalies for the product in question," the spokesman added.

FairPrice said that it has a policy in place which allows customers to return or exchange products that are of an unsatisfactory quality at the same store of purchase, with a valid receipt provided.

"We take the opportunity to also advise our customers that it is good practice to thoroughly wash all fresh or live seafood prior to consumption," the spokesman said.