NEA probing after rat seen in Toa Payoh eatery
Owner says restaurant has high standard of cleanliness, rats came from nearby refuse centre
He was at the Lee Kwang Kee Teochew Cuisine eatery on Wednesday morning ordering food when he saw a large rat scurrying around open and empty containers for food.
The 24-hour restaurant at Toa Payoh Lorong 8 is an open kitchen concept.
Mr Lewis Tay uploaded the video of the rat on his Facebook page the same day.
The video had been viewed more than 97,000 times and shared over 3,200 times as of 11pm yesterday.
Facebook user Irene Lim said: "Yuck. Imagine rat droppings in your sambal chilli or black sauce."
User Wilert Goh said: "In all fairness, this is not a dirty restaurant. I feel it is really suay (Hokkien for unlucky) for this restaurant to have been caught with a rat."
The owner, Mr Kenny Lee, 54, told The New Paper yesterday said that he holds his restaurant to a high standard of cleanliness.
His said his workers clean the restaurant every shift, three times a day, and send him photos of the cleaned area.
They also use pest control contractors regularly.
According to Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao, after an employee spotted the rat, the worker threw away all the ingredients on the counter, including the roast ducks.
The area was then cleaned and disinfected.
Mr Lee believes the rat came from a refuse centre nearby.
He said: "It's a breeding ground for rats."
He added: "There are always going to be rats until we tackle the source of the problem. Unless we improve the refuse centres, nothing will change."
When The New Paper visited the restaurant yesterday afternoon, National Environment Agency (NEA) officers were inspecting the place.
The NEA said in a statement: "NEA is aware of a video circulating on Facebook of a rat spotted in a food shop at Toa Payoh Lorong 8. We have inspected the premises and investigations are ongoing."
Mrs Sally Ng, in her 50s, a noodle seller at the nearby Lorong 8 Toa Payoh Hawker Centre, said she had not encountered a rat in the three years she has been there.
The owner of a drinks stall, Mr Tan Kwang An, 52, felt there was little that could be done about the rats.
He said: "It is suay. It could have happened to anyone. I would have told the owners instead of filming them."
Owner of the Man Yuan Gourmet stall, who wanted to be known only as Mr Yong, 63, said: "I've seen a few rats over the years, but not many."