Faulty exhaust hoods turn up the heat for hawkers at People's Park Food Centre
Faulty exhaust hoods at People’s Park Food Centre have left hawkers working under sweltering conditions recently.
According to Shin Min Daily News, some 10 stalls in the food centre have been directly exposed to hot, smoke-filled air, resulting in staff having to exit the premises frequently for air.
Diners have also complained about the heat.
The issue began when the Food Centre reopened on July 1, after being closed for renovations since April 1.
Hawkers told Shin Min that parts of the exhaust hoods have not been working properly since the first day of reopening and have yet to be fixed.
One zi char stall employee said their stall had to close mid-way through the first day of operation due to the smoke and heat. Despite remaining closed for the next two days, the problem was not fixed.
"No choice, the boss has to keep the business running. Workers like us have to earn a living, so we have to bear with the heat and smoke while cooking, and take turns to go out for some air," said the employee.
When reporters visited the food centre on Friday (July 7) evening, part of the dining area was filled with smoke with a strong smell of chilli in the air.
A stall assistant, surnamed Ye, said the heat at their stall was so extreme that installing four fans still could not remedy the situation.
"I think it's over 40 deg C within the stall. We're perspiring profusely as we cook," said Ye, adding that they have to step out of the stall every 30 minutes for a breather.
Another hawker also shared that his skin broke out in rashes as a result of the heat.
Diners eating at the food centre have also had to contend with the pungent cooking fumes.
Chairman of the People's Park Traders Association, Chia Sai Im, 78, said she has received several complaints from hawkers over the issue, Shin Min reported.
Believing the issue could be caused by a portion of the exhaust system being clogged, Chia said urgent steps have been taken and that technicians will be rectifying the situation within the next few days.