SINGAPORE: The food hygiene rating of Kate’s Catering has been downgraded to a “C” from an “A” effective immediately, after more than 250 people from pre-schools were taken ill, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said on Friday (Jul 19).
SFA said a joint inspection with the Ministry of Health (MOH) revealed several hygiene lapses at the caterer’s premises at 171 Kampung Ampat, including improper thawing of food, poor food handling and poor preparation practices of the food handlers.
A total of 259 people from 13 PCF Sparkletots pre-schools and the PLAN Student Care Centre reported suffering from gastroenteritis symptoms after consuming food provided by Kate’s Catering between Mar 19 and Mar 25 this year.
Of these, 33 were hospitalised and have since been discharged.
READ: All PCF Sparkletots pre-schools to use in-house cooks following food poisoning outbreak
The PAP Community Foundation (PCF) said last month that all its pre-school centres previously served by external caterers would make a permanent shift to using in-house cooks.
The licence of Kate’s Catering was suspended on Mar 26 and the suspension was subsequently lifted on May 17 after the caterer rectified the lapses and put in proper measures to enhance their food preparation processes, SFA said.
The new food hygiene grade for Kate’s Catering will be reviewed in 12 months.
SFA said that it will also continue to keep the premises of Kate’s Catering under surveillance.
“Food operators are reminded to adhere to good food hygiene and safety processes. Infection prevention practices such as the washing of hands before handling food can greatly reduce the incidence of gastroenteritis when adopted by all key stakeholders, including the industry and public,” SFA added.