Friday, 10 April 2009

Spam Print .............................................................. Roger Smith

It's Good Friday, the weather is hot and humid and we have just returned from a lunch at Redhill market - satay bee hoon from the best purveyor of this fine cuisine in Singapore. There are some who claim that a stall on the East Coast is better, but for my money Redhill is best and it is only one stop down the MRT line from where we live.

On the subject of food (is there any other subject in Singapore?), not such good news regarding the deaths of two people and the hospitalisation of nearly 150 others from food poisoning at a hawkers stall.

The Indian Rojak stall at the Geylang Temporary Market was the offender and from the accounts coming out in the media the hygiene standards in the market have been simply appalling - surely an indictment on the levels of supervision from the inspectors who are meant to be monitoring these eateries.

According to the Straits Times it is the Vibro parahaemolyticus bacteria caused by the cross-contamination of rojak and raw seafood ingredients that caused the outbreak. It probably does not help that the market is also rat infested - 51 caught in just one night.

Speaking personally, I will not eat from any Indian hawker stalls, based on my observations of their food handling (and I mean handling) and the upset stomachs that result. Most Chinese stalls have reasonable standards as do the Malay, although in the case of the latter I have had a bad dose of "Delhi Belly" during my time here from eating at a Malay stall.

Even the Health Minister has come out and bewailed the deteriorating standards in Singapore, although this belated commentary will be of little comfort to the families who suffered and are continuing to suffer from this food poisoning outbreak.

It goes without saying that we have never had any such problems with the Redhill satay bee hoon stall.

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