vegetable rice with cockroach

SINGAPORE: At Pasir Panjang Food Centre, a hungry diner’s eagerly anticipated meal took an unexpected turn. The diner who bought rice, veg and beef kicap also finds a cockroach on the side! The diner’s shock was palpable – an unexpected side dish indeed.

He shared: “Soooooo soon ….hungry and bought rice, veg and beef kechap …. unfortunately I can’t eat because I saw one coco .. how many more In there!!!! Pasir panjang food center… spend $8.60.”

Some comments replied jokingly; Lynus suggested, “If u dip in sambal it’s ok.” Another user named Rai noted, “Extra protein. Btw $8.60 is cut throat for economical rice.” Danny seems unbothered by the cockroach side dish, saying, “Edible. It’s bonus.” Another chimed in, saying, “Haiya.just simple matter. If you eat that cokroach also nver make you die.”

But how do cockroaches end up in such places in the first place?

According to AZ Animals, cockroaches are attracted to leftover food, waste, garbage, clutter, moisture, heat, and darkness. These conditions make places like kitchens, basements, and cluttered or dirty areas particularly appealing to them.

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AZ Animals also noted that cockroaches can be found even in clean environments because they can easily access plumbing lines.

However, even when this is true, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has established guidelines to prevent such incidents. As outlined by the SFA, maintaining clean premises involves adhering to cleaning practices, implementing pest control measures, and following proper storage practices.

Prevention of Pests in Food Establishments and Supermarkets

Per SFA’s guidelines:

  1. To eliminate food sources, one should store food in containers with covers or securely sealed packaging. Any spillage of food or refuse should be promptly cleaned up.
  2. To eliminate areas of harborage and entry points, one should dispose of empty carton boxes, unusable pallets, newspapers, and other unwanted items. Regular inspections of the storage area, conducted at least once a week, are essential to identify signs of pest infestations. Ensure proper coverage of floor traps, gullies, and downpipes with grating, and seal any holes or crevices in the ceilings, walls, or floors. Consider installing sturdy wire meshes at potential entry points to deter pests.
  3. To maintain proper refuse management and housekeeping, individuals should consider the following practices:
    • Utilize pedal-operated refuse bins, ensuring they are lined with plastic bags.
    • Keep refuse bins covered whenever they are not in use.
    • Bag, securely tie, and dispose of all food waste and garbage.
    • Empty refuse bins at least once a day.
    • Store food items at a minimum distance of 15cm above the ground.
    • Perform daily cleaning of drains and floor traps.
    • Thoroughly clean the kitchen serving area at the end of each day’s operation, ensuring no refuse is left behind.
    • Maintain cleanliness in the areas located beneath the cooking range and sinks.
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This incident at Pasir Panjang Food Centre underscores the importance of adhering to the Singapore Food Agency’s guidelines to ensure food safety and hygiene.