A popular bakery chain in Singapore with 16 stores in shopping malls and other places were directed to suspend their operation until further notice due to a huge infestation of rodents and cockroaches in their food preparation areas and delivery vehicles.
In this latest news in Singapore, we are breaking down what happened to the bakery chain and why they were reprimanded by the Food Safety Authority.
Business Operations Suspended
On October 26, the SFA or Singapore Food Agency ordered Proofer Bakery to suspend their operations and withdraw their food products from their stores nationwide.
The Proofer chain’s retail brand, Proofer Boulangerie has stores in a lot of places in Singapore like the ones in AMK Hub and Changi City Point.
On the same day, Proofer posted on their social media accounts that they will be closing for a day for general cleaning of their stores.
Their official Facebook page posted the following announcement, “Dear customers, we are closed for today’s operation of area cleaning process and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused. Business shall resume tomorrow. Thank you and we will see you tomorrow! From Proofer management team.”
Inspections to the Premises
The SFA stated that they have conducted an inspection on the bakery’s premises in 171 Kampong Ampat in the MacPherson area and they have found several proofs of a massive pest infestation, including dead rodents and cockroaches at the food preparation areas and in two delivery trucks.
The agency also found a few mistakes that are associated with poor maintenance of the stores. SFA also stated that they commanded Proofer bakery to suspend their food business operations and correct the mistakes and to take action to improve the sanitation and food safety routines within their premises.
The Straits Times has tried to reach out to the company for a statement but they declined to respond. According to some public documents, Proofer Bakery was launched in 2014 and registered Ms. Anita Chia and Mr. Aris Goh as it’s owners.
Other Infestation Incidents
This is not the first time SFA directed a business to suspend operations due to a widespread pest infestation and failure of following food safety regulations this year.
On July 1, Ho Kee Pau known for their dim sum and pastries had their outlets closed due to a massive pest infestation found on the establishments of the company. SFA also found cockroaches and rodent feces within the areas of preparations in their Shimei East Kitchen in Bedok North.
Last year, SFA also took enforcement action against a mookata diner in Golden MIle Complex where a customer spotted several cockroaches creeping all over a beverage dispenser machine. The customer asked the manager to remove the machine and change her seats away from the dispenser but the manager continued to ignore her.
SFA had issued a warning to the owners of the mookata restaurant and demanded a fine for the failure to keep the food preparation areas clean.
Enforcement Action to the Offenders
According to the official statement of SFA, it said, “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,” they added.
The agency also said that all of the food business directors should guarantee that their establishments are sanitized and well managed, and that employees should be trained to practice correct food safety handling.
SFA stated that they will enforce corrective measures against business operators who will disregard the regulations that they imposed, and that offenders are subjected to a jail term of one year and a fine of $10,000.
“Members of the public who come across poor food safety practices in our food establishments are advised not to patronise them and provide feedback via our online feedback form with details for our follow up investigations.” they added.