Picture this: You’ve finally made it to your lunch break, and you can’t wait to get out of the office to dig into your favourite food at the nearby hawker centre.
And while you’re enjoying your meal, you spot something that ruins it entirely:
A cigarette butt.
While that might sound like the plot of a horror movie (or just of someone who’s incredibly unlucky), that’s exactly what a netizen named PeiYi Neo on Facebook experienced when she bought mala xiang guo from a stall in Chinatown.
Here’s what happened.
Woman Found Cigarette Butt in Bowl of Mala Xiang Guo
On Tuesday (27 December), Neo uploaded a series of photos to the COMPLAINT SINGAPORE Facebook group.
In two photos, she showed part of a cigarette butt nestled between the many red chilli peppers in the dish.
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And if you think your eyes are playing tricks on you, they’re not. It’s really a cigarette butt.
Here’s a zoomed-in version of the cigarette butt.
Unless you’re telling me that this kind of red chilli pepper has text printed on them, I’m pretty sure we can all agree that the photos definitely showed a cigarette butt.
In the caption of her post, Neo recounted her shock at discovering the cigarette butt in her food.
“When [I was] almost done with my food, [I] realised that there [was] a [cigarette] butt in it!” she wrote.
She added that the mala place used to be her favourite, but I’m sure no one would blame her if it immediately dropped to her least favourite after such a horrible experience.
Staff Denied that it Was a Cigarette Butt; Said it Was Chilli
And while it’s undeniable that Neo’s find in her food was unacceptable, her experience with the staff at the stall wasn’t the best either.
A female staff member told her that it was “part of the dried red chilli” when she brought the issue up to her.
She even showed the staff pictures of the cigarette butt but could not get the other party to admit to the mistake.
Neo, who said that she was “disgusted”, then ended her post by concluding that she “will never” revisit the stall and tagged the Facebook page of the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).
She also included an image of the stall’s signboard; it reads “Ri Ri Hong Xiang Guo” in Chinese with the English words “Mala Hot Pot” below.
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After reading about Neo’s encounter, many netizens were infuriated at the stall’s actions and called them out for their unhygienic standards when preparing food.
Some even shared their own experiences, with one Facebook user saying that he “caught many of [such staff] after visiting the toilet[;] they don’t wash their hand properly or not at all”.
Another user pointed out that Chinese characters were printed on the cigarette butt, proving Neo’s suspicions correct. Neo replied to that netizen’s comment by saying that personnel from the SFA called her and confirmed that it was indeed a cigarette butt.
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