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HomesingaporeSquashed rat found in food delivery bag with brownies; SFA investigating

Squashed rat found in food delivery bag with brownies; SFA investigating

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is looking into an incident where a squashed rat was found along with food in a food delivery bag.

Madam Farahliza, 37, said her husband had used her GrabFood account on Wednesday to order brownies from Japanese-French inspired bakery Annabella Patisserie. 

It was for her belated birthday celebration, and she had ordered food from the same outlet before, she told The Straits Times.

The order was sent from an outlet at 28 Gambas Crescent, according to the GrabFood receipt, and arrived at her home in a sealed bag, said Madam Farahliza, who gave only her first name.

There was a “strong pungent smell” coming from the bag when she opened her door, and her husband could also smell the odour from their bedroom, she added.

“I was curious, so I opened up the bag and took out the box from the bag and found something else inside it,” she said.

“It was dark, so I carried it to my dining area where it was lighted to have a clearer look inside. To my horror, there was a dead, squashed rat inside the bag.”

Mdm Farahliza added that she vomited after finding out about the dead rat, and is still “traumatised” by the sight and smell. She threw the bag away after taking photos and videos, as she and her husband could not bear the smell. She has lodged reports with SFA and GrabFood.

The SFA confirmed that it was investigating the matter when contacted by ST.

“Food safety is a joint responsibility. While SFA puts in place and enforces the regulatory measures, food operators must play their part by adhering to good food hygiene and preparation practices. SFA will not hesitate to take enforcement action against errant food operators,” it said.

The agency added that those who come across potentially errant food operators should report them to the SFA via its online feedback form.

At 8.30am on Thursday, Annabella Patisserie apologised in the comments of Mdm Farahliza’s Facebook post, and uploaded security camera footage at 11.37am in a follow-up comment.

The video purportedly showed a staff member packing an order at 9.27pm on Wednesday night, and checking a bag before placing a box inside it. 

The bakery said, in response to ST’s queries: “We deeply regret and apologise for this unfortunate and unacceptable situation.

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“At Annabella Patisserie, we prioritise the safety, well-being, and satisfaction of our customers. The presence of a foreign object in our delivery packaging is a grave breach of our quality standards and goes against our commitment to providing safe and enjoyable culinary experiences.”

The bakery said it contacted Mdm Farahliza to apologise, provide a full refund, and to gather information for its own internal investigation. It also offered her assistance in dealing with this experience, without elaborating.

It added that it will cooperate with the authorities, review its quality control processes to ensure that all its products and deliveries meet the “highest standards of hygiene and safety”, and reinforce its training programmes for its staff to further emphasise the importance of adhering to its stringent food safety protocols.

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