SINGAPORE - Pest control measures were implemented at Alexandra Village Food Centre in Bukit Merah after rats were spotted there, a National Environment Agency (NEA) spokesman told The Straits Times on Tuesday (Oct 3).
The agency received feedback on rat sightings at the venue twice this year.
After conducting multiple inspections, it found rat droppings on top of the exhaust ducting at the food centre and a few burrows outside the food centre.
The food centre is under the purview of Tanjong Pagar Town Council.
The town council was informed of the findings so they could follow up and rectify the problem.
"The town council has since conducted pest control treatment in the food centre and its surrounding areas, and will continue with rat control measures such as enhancing the housekeeping and refuse management in the centre," said the NEA spokesman.
The NEA will continue assisting the town council and Hawkers' Association to review rat control plans for the food centre, and ensure that good housekeeping, removal of food sources and adequate pest control checks are in place.
"During the quarterly spring cleaning of the food centre held two weeks ago, NEA conducted a workshop for the stallholders to refresh their knowledge on food hygiene, housekeeping and proper refuse management practices in order to prevent rat activity," said the spokesman.
Stallholders were also informed about the rat control programme and advised to contact the town council if they detected any rat activity on the premises.
The NEA spokesman explained that the key strategy to manage rat infestation is removing food sources, and ensuring that the place is clean, food is stored in rat-proof containers and waste is disposed of properly.
Proper housekeeping would eliminate areas where rats can nest and breed, and can ensure that businesses and customers both benefit from better service and hygiene standards.
"All stakeholders must put in place a good system of housekeeping, refuse management and routine pest control checks and treatment," the NEA spokesman said.
"Consistent and sustained efforts by all parties are needed to ensure rat infestation in an area is tackled holistically."
The NEA will take enforcement action for any lapses in rat control, by stallholders, premises owners or managing agents.