23/03/19: 4 caterers, 1 restaurant in last year’s food poisoning spate have NEA hygiene grades cut to ‘C’

(Clockwise from top left) Foodtalks Caterer and Manufacturer, Imperial Herbal restaurant and The Orange Lantern Gourmet Kitchen had their food hygiene grades lowered to a "C".
(Clockwise from top left) Foodtalks Caterer and Manufacturer, Imperial Herbal restaurant and The Orange Lantern Gourmet Kitchen had their food hygiene grades lowered to a “C”.

In notices on the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) website, the four food caterers were named as Foodtalks Caterer and Manufacturer in Bedok North Street 5, One Family Catering at Food Xchange @ Admiralty, and The Orange Lantern Gourmet Kitchen and Sin Yong Huat Catering in Aljunied Avenue 4.

Foodtalks, One Family and Sin Yong Huat previously had a grade “B”, while The Orange Lantern was an “A”, according to information available on the NEA website.

NEA said that the food poisoning incidents occurred between July and November last year.

The case involving Foodtalks saw the most number of victims among them, with 110 people reported having gastroenteritis symptoms after eating food provided by the caterer, which operates from industrial complex Shimei East Kitchen.

The victims included Kindergarten 2 children and teachers who were attending a learning camp organised by Busy Bees Asia in November last year.

The Ministry of Health, Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority and NEA had conducted a joint inspection of the caterer’s premises after the cases were reported on Nov 26.

Last year, 27 people fell ill after eating food from The Orange Lantern on Sept 24, 38 people ate food from Sin Yong Huat on Aug 28, and 35 had food from One Family Catering on July 27.

There were 24 victims in the food poisoning case at Imperial Herbal on Nov 7.

Mr Wang Jin Hui, the owner of Imperial Herbal, told The Straits Times that the 24 belonged to a tour group from China, who ate five dishes at the restaurant for lunch.

Two vegetable dishes were found to have higher than usual levels of bacteria, said Mr Wang, 58.

The restaurant has since looked at replacing a plastic basket used to contain the vegetables before the dish is served to patrons.

It will be using aluminium or steel baskets instead, which can be cleaned in a high-temperature dishwasher, Mr Wang said.

“We will also adopt a more thorough cleaning process, including disinfecting our premises every week,” he said.

NEA said that it adjusted the caterers’ and restaurant’s food hygiene grade to “C” from March 21 after investigations.

The grade will be reviewed in 12 months, and NEA will be keeping the premises under surveillance in the meantime.

The public can view the revised grades after 12 months here, under “Search Track Records of Licensed Food Establishments”.

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