Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sabotage at Royals?

Following the alleged recall of products from Royals bakery, it seems that this is not some virus or fungus or bacteria… human infection getting into the nerves?


Vina Mubtadi, nurvianam@mediacorp.com.sg

THE director of a cake factory forced to recall its products has alleged that sabotage was responsible for the chemical contaminant found in its ingredients.

On Sunday, the staff of The Royals Premium Cakes factory in Bedok were about to make pies for the next day when they noticed something unusual. Director Joy Tang, 49, said: "At about 11.30am, they began to use one particular ingredient for chicken mushroom pies. When they opened up the ingredients, there was a very strong smell of bleach ... I realised it would be a deliberate sabotage so we called in the police immediately."

The contaminant was discovered in the pie fillings and sugar syrup. Police confirmed that they got a call from the factory on Sunday at about 12.10pm and are investigating.

Products sold at The Royals' five outlets — all run by franchisees — were unaffected, as the contaminant was discovered before it went into production, said Ms Tang.

Even so, yesterday, its four takeaway outlets were not open for business, though staff were on hand to assist Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) officials. Its fifth outlet, a cafe at Upper East Coast, continued selling beverages and food like mee siam.

Ms Tang suspects sabotage because "the chicken-mushroom is one of my best-sellers". The factory hires about 16 workers — administrative, delivery and production staff. All have given their statements to the police, she said.

The factory's operations will remain suspended pending investigations by the police and the AVA. The latter is also supervising a thorough cleaning of the factory, and has taken samples of pies, cakes and other ingredients for analysis.

"As a precautionary measure, AVA has instructed the factory to destroy all its existing stocks of semi-processed and finished products, including opened packets of ingredients in the factory and the outlets," said spokesman Goh Shih Yong.

No customer complaints have been received so far, Ms Tang said, but those who want a refund can get one. The hotline number is 6444 2262. 938LIVE, additional reporting by Neo Chai Chin

From TODAYOnline.com; see the source article here.

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