$9K fine for selling unhealthy rojak

A 70-year-old former Indian rojak seller who owns the Geylang Serai temporary food centre in Singapore has been fined for selling food unfit to eat and having an unclean chopping board and refrigerator tray. Sheik Allaudin Mohideen was given the maximum fines amounting to $9,000 on Tuesday.

Notably, the penalty follows a massive food poisoning, one of the country’s worst in recent years, due to the eating of rojak from his stall that left 154 people ill, two of whom later died at a hospital. In all, 48 were hospitalised while the rest received outpatient care.

While pleading guilty to selling unhealthy Indian rojak, Allaudin had admitted before the authorities concerned that he failed to ensure that the refrigerator tray and chopping board at his stall were kept clean on April 4.

National Environment Agency, Senior Prosecutor, Abdullah Ghani had, in a bid to set a precedent on the importance of strictly observing good food-handling practices and keeping high food hygiene standards always, pressed for the maximum penalty.

The incident came to light after all the 154 people who were taken ill after consuming the rojak had reported a strong and consistent association between the food poisoning outbreak and the Geylang Serai stall. Immediately after the outbreak, the authorities concerned, who went for a check at the stall, found the premises were dirty and infested by cockroaches.