03 February 2008

One Ball Missing

Weekend lunch for my family is usually chicken rice. There is this stall in my neighbourhood coffeeshop which is quite popular. Usually there is at least a half-hour wait on weekends. While waiting, I sometimes order fishball mee from the stall next to it.


This morning, I was at the same coffeeshop to buy lunch for my family. As usual, I ordered fishball mee and went to take a seat. While waiting for the young woman stall assistant to prepare my lunch, I witnessed a most disgusting act. When she scooped out the fishballs from the soup, she accidentally dropped one of the fishballs onto the floor. Nonchalantly, she just picked it up with her hand and threw it back into the pot of boiling soup without even washing it!!! She probably didn't know that I was observing her from a distance.

I immediately got up from my seat and approached her. I said, "你把那粒鱼圆放回去啊?我不要吃了!" (You put back the fishball? I don't want to eat anymore!).

As if nothing had happened, she replied, "哦,不要吃没关系." (Don't want to eat? It doesn't matter.)

Hello, what "doesn't matter"? Well, she did save one fishball and I might have saved myself from a bout of lao sai (diarrhoea). But what she probably didn't realise is that she had not only lost me as a regular customer forever but also others who might be reading this article and recognise the stall. (If you don't, provide me your contact details and I will let you know where this stall is.)

Worse, if NEA (National Environment Agency) comes to know about her grossly unhygenic act, the stall's license might very well be suspended. Okay, she probably only works at the stall and is not the license holder. But still, she could very well lose her job.

For now, I am happy just boycotting the stall.

22 comments:

Kopi Soh said...

Can i be part of your family, i luvvv chicken rice, oso rgdg your dirty ball, maybe the lady figured that whatever germs there is, the boiling soup wud have taken care of it.

noelbynature said...

GROSSSS!!! ok, tell me which store. it looks like a store near my place - so much check and prevent myself from lao sai!

Laokokok said...

Well done Victor. Boycott such stall!

Ling That's Me said...

Yikes!! can provide me the address? I dont wish my kids to have such mee from this stall. Yucks!

etel said...

i also wan the add! actually GD, u should really post the location and stall name for the benefit of others la.. really.

stanley said...

I don't fancy eating fish balls nowadays. They are not made of fish meat anymore. The ingredients that go into making fish balls consist mainly of pig skin.
I would also urge you like some of your blog visitors to post the name and location of the store so that I can give it a wide berth.
I understand your reluctance to name the stall as the publicity may force the owner to sue you. Don't worry, we are all behind you.

etel said...

sue? eh there is nothing to sue lah, its a fact ma, though they can deny it lah.. but we all know my GD speaks the truth only. :)

fr said...

I think they won't get suspended if this is the first offence, maybe a warning or some demerit points.

Employers/stall owners need to 'educate' their employees about unhygenic habits. This woman will probably do the same thing if she goes to another stall.

Haha, perhaps you can post her picture also, so we can recognize her.

Lam Chun See said...

I wouldn't get too excited about this becos I think it is probably a 'standard practice'. Only diff is that this stall was unlucky to have encountered our ever observant Victor Koo.

I seriously doubt that other fish ball sellers would take the trouble to rinse the fish ball during busy hours. Anyway, I know of 1 person who doesn't do it ... my son! He cites the 3-second rule. Unless of course if his parents are around he will do it to avoid getting nagged or scolded. Anyway, I trust that the floor at home is cleaner than those at hawker centres.

Victor said...

Kopi Soh - You want to be part of my family? Is that a proposal? Wait, I go ask my son first. :p

You are probably right about heat killing all germs. But what about dust, dirt and human hair? They are virtually indestructable.

Victor said...

Noel - No, it is not near where you stay. Let's just say it is in the Bedok Reservoir area, Block 12X. If you don't usually eat there, then you have nothing to fear.

Victor said...

LKK - Actually, a lot of our hawker stalls have unhygenic practices. However, we don't always catch them in the act. For example, have you seen some of them use the toilet and not washing their hands afterwards? I have. But I could only catch men hawkers doing this, for obvious reasons.

Victor said...

Ling - If you don't usually eat at Blk 12X Bedok Reservoir Road, then you are safe.

Victor said...

GNE - Your GD speaks the truth... well, usually. Haha.

Okay, I admit that I didn't actually see the fishball fall to the ground but I did see the fishball drop behind the counter (see photo of stall in this post). I do hope that it had dropped into a clean pail behind the counter. Or on top of the hawker's foot. At least that should be cleaner than the floor, I hope.

Victor said...

Stanley - This is the first time I hear that pork skin is used in making fishball. Please tell me which stalls practise this and I will give them a wide berth.

Victor said...

Frannxis - Her face is in the photo, the one wearing blue behind the counter.

Victor said...

Chun See - What's the "3-second rule"?

Lam Chun See said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lam Chun See said...

If you pick it up quickly from the floor within 3 secs, it is safe to eat ... so says the wise guy. Don't know where he learned it from.

Alex G said...

Wouldn't putting back a fishball that had (supposedly) dropped onto the floor into the soup makes the entire pot of fishballs dirty?

Does the stall ever change the soup used to cook fishballs? Oh no!!

Kopi Soh said...

Alamak Victor u wan me to get jail for pedophilia kah? Ur son so young!!! I thinking maybe can be your wife's adopted sister or sum ting lidat lar.
Dust, dirt, human hair, Victor you truly belip those items are not already in the soup??????

Victor said...

Chun See - What kind of logic is that?

Alex G - Exactly. The hygiene standards of many hawkers are questionable.

Kopi Soh - :p