We start off 2015 with a rat carcass in its entirety in a buffet spread at Hotpot Culture, Marina Square Singapore. While this has led to serious repercussions – following NEA investigations, Hotpot Culture was suspended, other similar incidents that are reported are merely brushed off, often by rude or nonchalant staffs. What should you do when you spot something unpleasant in your food?
1. Take photos discreetly
If you find something unpleasant in your food, start taking photos of it discreetly. This should give you some evidence in an event that staffs try to clear it away when you report to them. A few incidents on Stomp see staffs frantically clearing the reported incident to brush it off lightly.
2. Gather people to confirm your findings
If more people can be your eye witnesses, it will make your claim and report more concrete. Gather people around you to confirm your findings. This is to repel any further claims from rude and irresponsible staffs from proclaiming that the cockroach/rat was planted by you in a bid to tarnish the reputation.
3. Tell your friends
Tell your friends of your findings on mobile. Your friends will be the immediate sharers of the post when it is up on social media. The more friends, the greater the impact your post will be, and the higher likelihood that it will not be ignored and your case will be brought to light.
4. Let social media do the work
Do up your post on Facebook or Twitter, tagging friends, the restaurant, and news outlet. Make your profile public. Let the content and social media do the work. If your contention is strong enough, it should go viral.
Food hygiene is an important practice that should be observed and valued. Of course, with social media, it is making it easier to assert the rights as a customer when faced with such unpleasant situation. Of course, NEA has tightened the guidelines with the stricter demerit system that is aimed to encourage hygienic practices. For the public who observe lapses in food outlets, they may contact NEA at its 24-hour hotline 1800-CALL NEA (1800-2255 632), or through the myENV mobile app available on iOS and Android devices.
Writer: Leong Chee Sheng