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NEA suspends restaurant after report of dead rat in buffet

SINGAPORE — The National Environment Agency (NEA) yesterday suspended the operations of Hotpot Culture, a restaurant at Marina Square, after a customer reportedly found a dead rat in a dish that was part of its porridge buffet spread.

NEA suspends restaurant after report of dead rat in buffet

A rat carcass was found in a vegetable dish at a buffet at Hotpot Culture, a restaurant in Marina Square. Photo: Facebok/Caron Chan

SINGAPORE — The National Environment Agency (NEA) yesterday suspended the operations of Hotpot Culture, a restaurant at Marina Square, after a customer reportedly found a dead rat in a dish that was part of its porridge buffet spread.

A Facebook post by Ms Caron Chan has been circulating online with the caption “Spot the #RAT in the vegetable dish. Taken at Hotpot Culture at Marina Square for the S$8.80 porridge buffet with my colleagues for lunch. It was ‘business as usual’ right after removing the dish tray. Enough said.”

An NEA spokesperson said the restaurant has been instructed to suspend its operations immediately while the agency investigates the incident.

When TODAY visited the restaurant at about 6.30pm yesterday, it was operating as usual and at least eight diners were present.

Staff whom TODAY approached said they knew nothing about the incident and referred the matter to their manager.

About half an hour later, the staff began turning away customers. Some diners were told it was holding a private event, while others were told there was a gas problem and that the restaurant would be closed to the public. NEA officers were seen at the restaurant while this was taking place.

Slightly after 8pm, the staff began clearing unoccupied tables, emptying the buffet station and requesting diners to leave.

Diners at the restaurant declined to be named and said they were unaware a dead rat had reportedly been found earlier in the day. They said they did not notice anything unusual with the food, but said the restaurant staff had told them there was a gas problem and they had been asked to leave.

When pressed by reporters, the restaurant’s management denied there was anything wrong with the food and declined to comment further.

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