Haidilao at Clarke Quay suspended for two weeks

A Chinese restaurant in Clarke Quay has been suspended for two weeks over unsanitary food handling practices. The branch of hotpot chain Haidilao has been closed since Saturday.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said the restaurant accumulated 12 demerit points over the last 12 months, and was fined $800 over food-handling practices and for selling unclean food.

Haidilao Singapore general manager Wang Jinping said in a statement yesterday that the restaurant was suspended following two inspections by the NEA last August and September.

On Aug 8 last year, an NEA inspector saw a worker at the eatery slicing watermelon without gloves on. It fined the worker $300 and slapped the outlet with six demerit points. On Sept 20, a serving of beancurd did not pass NEA hygiene tests, and another six points was given.

Those 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, depending on their past record, said the NEA. It said all food-handlers working in suspended premises must attend and pass the Basic Food Hygiene Course again before being allowed to resume work.

After the August incident, Haidilao commissioned two independent checks by food safety organisations and re-trained its food-handlers under NEA's guidelines.

It will use this time to renovate and enhance the five-year-old Clarke Quay outlet before it re-opens in April, Mr Wang said.

"Haidilao promises to put food hygiene and food safety first in all its outlets across the globe... and provide better service to all its customers," he added.

The restaurant is directly managed by Sichuan Haidilao Catering Co. The group has six other branches here and over 200 outlets in 60 cities in China, as well as in Los Angeles, Tokyo and Seoul.

The NEA said it would take firm action against the violation of the Environmental Public Health Act. The public can call 1800-CALL NEA (1800-2255632) to report any cases of poor hygiene practices.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2018, with the headline 'Haidilao at Clarke Quay suspended for two weeks'. Print Edition | Subscribe