Supermarket chain Giant and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) are investigating after a customer found a dead rat in a pack of vegetables purchased at Giant's IMM outlet.
Raymond Lim wrote about his experience on a May 22 Facebook post. He said that the pack of vegetables containing the dead rat was kept in his refrigerator for three days before it was discovered.He had bought the pack of vegetables, along with other groceries, on May 15.
Lim also attached a screenshot of Giant's response to his email about the incident. They extended their "sincerest apologies" and said that "immediate steps were taken to inform the store manager and the supplier".
They said they had not received any similar feedback from other customers and gathered that Lim's experience "might be an isolated case".
As they take a "serious view" of what happened, they pledged to conduct "more frequent inspections on the quality of (their) products", and offered Lim a refund on the fresh and frozen items that he purchased on May 15.
Unsatisfied with response
Lim told Shin Min Daily News (SMDN) that it was his wife who made the grocery run, and that she was "shocked" after finding the dead rat as it was "really very disgusting".
He added that his family members have not been able to stomach vegetables since the incident happened.
After discovering the dead rat, the family cleared the fridge and threw away all its contents, including 1kg of bird's nest gifted to Lim by a friend.
"Thankfully, we have two fridges at home," Lim told SMDN, "We don't dare to use the one (that the rat was stored in)."
Lim remains unsatisfied with Giant's response despite their offer to refund the monies. As per the May 24 interview with the Chinese daily, he said that the supermarket manager has not reached out to him with regard to the matter.
Giant taking incident seriously
In response to SMDN's queries, Giant's spokesperson said that they were sorry to the Lims and are in contact with them to provide assistance.
The rep emphasised that their customers' health and safety are of utmost importance, so they are taking the matter very seriously.
They continued, "We quickly launched an investigation after we were notified of what happened. The (item involved in the incident) were pre-packaged and sealed (before it was delivered to us). Therefore, we are working closely with our suppliers to find the root cause. We will also inspect (other packets of) the same vegetable we are selling to ensure that this does not happen again."
SFA told SMDN that they are investigating the matter. A spokesperson highlighted that food safety is a joint responsibility. While they put in place and enforce regulatory measures, it is still important for operators to adhere to good food hygiene and preparation practices.
Members of the public who come across any potentially errant food operator can report via an online feedback form here.
SFA added that they would not hesitate to take enforcement action against errant food operators if they have obtained sufficient evidence.
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Top photo by Raymond Lim via Facebook.