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Ex-Beach Road Restaurant Owner Stores Meat Products 8 Years Past Expiry Date, Pleads Guilty

Ex-Restaurant Owner Illegally Stores Meat & Seafood Products 8 Years Past Expiry Date

In 2021, an ex-Beach Road restaurant owner was caught illegally storing almost 20,000kg of meat and seafood products.

This included over 1,000kg of products such as mouldy salmon and lobster meat which were eight years past their expiry date.

On Wednesday (1 Mar), Tan Poh Gwee pleaded guilty to two charges under the Wholesome Meat and Fish Act.

He was also considered for another charge of transporting meat products in an unclean vehicle from Enterprise One in Kaki Bukit.

The vehicle did not have a working refrigeration compartment and contained cockroaches.

Stored meat products 8 years past expiry date

According to The Straits Times (ST), Tan is the former owner of Chong Qing (Origin) Steamboat at Beach Road.

Source: Google Maps

He also traded food as a frozen product supplier Ed’s Frozen Enterprise.

In July 2021, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) received feedback that the food he sold on livestream was not fresh.

Subsequently, they found that Tan did not have a cold store licence. SFA then told him that he needed a licence to continue his trade.

However, in August 2021, authorities conducted a spot check and found that he had not applied for one.

 

Furthermore, they reportedly found that Tan was illegally storing around 19,483kg of meat and seafood products.

These products were allegedly stored in unsealed bags and left on the ground.

Among these products, over 1,000kg of food was expired.

For instance, SFA apparently discovered slipper lobster that expired in June 2013, as well as mouldy salmon and squid products.

Former Beach Road restaurant owner allegedly applied for licence

In court, Tan claimed that he had applied for a licence. However, he was unable to get it before SFA’s spot check in August 2021.

He additionally accumulated unsold food products and could not pay his rent. As a result, Tan fell into bankruptcy.

Apart from that, Tan’s lawyer stated that his client had to close his business during the ‘Circuit Breaker’ in 2020.

Thus, the latter accumulated a substantial amount of unsold meat and food products.

The lawyer also asserted that Tan would have disposed of the expired products when he discovered them after businesses reopened.

Moreover, since his refrigerated truck had not been in use for 1.5 years, the lawyer noted that it should not be a reason to increase Tan’s penalties.

On the other hand, the prosecution said that Tan should receive a deterrent sentence although there was no evidence that consumers suffered from food poisoning.

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Featured image adapted from @colinczerwinski on Unsplash

Nicole Foo

Nicole thinks about Ya Kun Set C a bit too often.

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