It seems like Chinatown’s People’s Park Food Centre may be suffering from a rat infestation.
Rat Almost Climbed on Woman’s Shoe
On 9 February 2023, one of the patrons of People’s Park Food Centre spotted a rat scurrying on the floor and began to film it.
According to the video, a small rat begins by running near a man’s foot before it bolts at lighting speed to the base of another table and lingers by a woman’s shoes for at least five seconds.
At some point in time, the rat took a liking to the woman’s shoelaces and attempted to climb up but after the lady felt that something was amiss and moved her feet, the little rat scuttled away.
We sure hope she washes her shoes thoroughly after that experience.
Apparently, rats can be seen scurrying around in the day time, near the feet of the hungry crowd. Things get worse in the night, when it’s dark and silent—larger rats emerge from hiding.
Rats Commonly Spotted Scuttering Around
The stall owners at People’s Park Food Centre appear to be unfazed by rat sightings which are a common sight for them.
One of the store owners, a 60-year-old woman with the surname Xiao, divulged that when she arrives to prepare for the day’s business at 5am every day, she sees two to three small rats running around the front of her stall.
There are usually several larger rats that she can spot in the further distance.
These rats run away once she starts to lift the stall shutters as they are scared of the loud noise.
She also humorously adds that the fatter and larger rats are more hardy and less afraid of noise. In fact, they move slowly.
Another stall owner, a man with the surname Hu, points out that he recently discovered rats running along the top of a range hood, and shares that he suspects there is a rat colony nearby.
Apart from rat sightings, he is also worried about rat droppings falling down.
People’s Park Food Centre Also Plagued by Other Hygiene Issues
Patrons of People’s Park Food Centre hope that the situation can be improved even though they acknowledge the difficulty in cleaning up the rat infestation problem.
One Ms Zhang, a 70-year-old regular of the food centre, says that she’s seen rats appear during meal times and sincerely hopes that the issue will be solved soon.
Another patron, a 60-year old lady with the surname Lu, says that birds are also a problem at the food centre as they can be unhygienic.
Mr Yang, a 78-year-old customer, instead opines that given the frequency of cleaning the food centre, the current standard of cleanliness is still acceptable.
Other hawker centres such as Tampines Round Market employ robot cleaners to ensure a pristine condition for patrons. Perhaps something worth People’s Park Food Centre’s consideration to create a more comfortable dining environment for patrons.
Regular Cleaning Activities Occur at People’s Park Food Centre
Since the video of the rat scuttling around was filmed, the authorities have allegedly paid People’s Park Food Centre a visit.
In response, the President of the People’s Park Food Centre Association, Xie Sai Ying, mentions that stringent cleaning efforts are made for the food centre. Pest control companies are hired to conduct monthly checks to eliminate pests.
Every two to three months, the food centre’s ceilings and floors are also cleaned and stall owners are requested to cooperate by cleaning their own stalls.
Ms Xie further divulges that rat infestations are always a problem given the old age of the building. She adds that there are plans to upgrade the location as early as this year, though nothing has been settled.
Well, do be careful the next time you hit up this food centre for your mala fix. You never know whether you’ll step on a rat.
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