SINGAPORE - The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is investigating a chicken rice stall in Toa Payoh after a video of a rat inside a raw chicken made the rounds on social media.
The video, which has been shared on Reddit and Facebook, shows the rat moving inside a chicken, which was placed in one of two bags of raw poultry.
The rat later scurries out of the chicken after the person filming the video kicks the basket.
The bags were in a blue basket placed outside a shuttered coffee shop located at Block 95 Toa Payoh Lorong 4.
When contacted on Wednesday (April 3), a spokesman for SFA said it is investigating the incident.
Food operators must ensure that food hygiene standards, such as storing raw ingredients properly, are adhered to.
The agency will not hesitate to take enforcement action if food hygiene lapses are found, its spokesman added.
Chinese-language daily Lianhe Wanbao reported that the stall owner who had ordered the chickens was the operator of the chicken rice stall at the coffee shop.
The stall was not operating on Wednesday but the stall owner, who was only named as Ah De, 34, was cleaning the stall when the Chinese newspaper visited the unit.
Mr Ah De told Wanbao that he was not sure when the video was taken, and he has not found any rats when handling the chickens.
"I previously requested the raw chicken supplier to use an additional basket so that the basket with the raw chickens are lifted and not left on the ground. Now something has happened, and I'm discussing the matter with them," he said.
The authorities inspected his stall on Wednesday morning, and he decided to close for the day, though the food had already been prepared and remained unsold, Mr Ah De added.
He is planning to change food suppliers and request compensation from his current supplier.
Several netizens who saw the video on social media said that it is unhygienic for raw chicken to be left in the open.
Some said that the fault lies with the supplier while others felt that both the stall owner and supplier were at fault.
Facebook user Na Naah said that since the delivery was made early in the day, the raw food should have been kept in sealed ice boxes.
Members of the public who come across errant food operators can submit a report to SFA via an online feedback form (https://csp.sfa.gov.sg/feedback).
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.