Kopitiam employee sacked after video of shoe-washing in sink goes viral

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[UPDATED 23 June 12.35pm: Kopitiam confirms that the staff in the video has been sacked and that it is investigating the matter.]

Kopitiam confirms that the staff caught on video washing her shoe in a food stall sink has been sacked and that it is launching a "thorough investigation" into the matter.

In a statement to Yahoo Singapore, a spokesman apologised for the incident.

Kopitiam said, "With regard to the incident in our food court located at NUH, we would like to apologize for this unpleasant encounter. Please be assured that we take this matter seriously. All washing equipment has been replaced and the sink disinfected. The staff in question has been terminated with immediate effect and we will be conducting a thorough investigation into this matter. In addition, our hygiene executive will be conducting a hygiene briefing for all staff working in the food court."

A video of the employee washing a shoe in a food stall sink had earlier raised a stink online.

The video, taken by Facebook user “Queenie Here”, showed the employee at Kopitiam’s National University Hospital branch scrubbing and washing a rubber clog in the stall’s food preparation sink.

It is understood that the food court stall sells desserts.

“Care for a dessert@NUH Kopitiam?” posted Queenie.

“I wanted to order dessert after my dinner. Unfortunately I saw this scene.”

The video, posted on Sunday, has since been shared over 14,300 times and garnered 270,000 views.

Netizens responded mainly with disgust, with many questioning the hygiene standards of Singapore’s food courts.

“Hospital's foodcourt should be more hygienic than anywhere else right? This is really yucky,” posted Facebook user Pearly Oh.

“Someone from AVA or NEA to check on all our local food court for hygiene please,” posted user Winnie Ng.


However, others felt that Queenie should have approached the employee instead of just taking a video.
“If you are so uptight about what she’s doing, why not confront her instead of taking a video of her?” posted Sarah Nur Saidy.
“Is that how problems are solved nowadays? By taking videos of people and shaming them on the Internet?”

In an official response to the media, a National Environment Agency spokesman said that it was investigating the incident.

"The wash basin is usually used by food handlers to wash their hands and food containers. This episode was a flagrant breach of hygiene that could have resulted in contamination of food and utensils. NEA will be taking enforcement action against the food court operator," read the statement.