MEDICALLY REVIEWED

Singapore’s SFA Cancels Sakura Buffet’s License Due to Food Safety Concerns

In a decisive move to uphold food safety standards, Singapore’s SFA has cancelled the Sakura Buffet licence following significant health and safety breaches.

Due to ongoing food safety violations, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has enacted the Sakura Buffet licence cancellation. This is effective from 10 May 2024. This decision follows a series of consumer complaints and regulatory inspections that highlighted critical lapses in food hygiene and safety standards.

Detailed Examination of Sakura Buffet’s Violations

From late March 2024, the SFA began to receive multiple reports concerning the safety of home-delivered meals catered by Sakura Buffet. Customers reported several alarming issues, including undercooked food, the presence of mould, and the discovery of foreign objects such as hair and insects in their meals. These incidents were not isolated, affecting multiple web-based businesses under the umbrella of Sakura Buffet Pte Ltd, which triggered a comprehensive investigation by the SFA into their operations.

SFA’s Investigative Findings

Upon deeper investigation, the SFA discovered that all reported food safety issues stemmed from meals supplied by Sakura Buffet Pte Ltd. This prompted a wider examination of the company’s reach, uncovering links to twelve web-based businesses. 

These operations, ranging from speciality meal deliveries like keto and confinement meals to general catering services, all sourced their products from Sakura Buffet. During thorough inspections at Sakura Buffet’s Geylang Bahru facility, authorities documented several violations, including unsanitary working conditions and inaccurate time-stamping of packed food, demonstrating a failure in maintaining the required Food Safety Management System (FSMS).

Sakura Buffet’s Repeated Non-compliance and Licence Revocation

Despite previous enforcement actions, Sakura Buffet Pte Ltd showed no improvement in adhering to food safety standards. The SFA acted against the company on four separate occasions from November 2023 to April 2024. Each action addressed different violations of food safety and hygiene regulations.

However, the establishment’s continued non-compliance and the severity of the issues led to the licence cancellation. This action bars the company from operating at their licensed premises, thus safeguarding public health.

Consumer Advisory and Ongoing Measures

In light of the Sakura Buffet licence cancellation, the SFA advises consumers to avoid the twelve linked web-based businesses. This precaution protects consumers from potential health risks associated with the food safety violations observed.

Affected customers are encouraged to resolve issues directly with the implicated businesses. They may also seek recourse through the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) or the Small Claims Tribunals. The SFA’s proactive stance highlights their commitment to consumer safety and the need for vigilance when ordering food online.

Upholding Food Safety Standards

The licence cancellation is a stern reminder to all food operators. Adhering to strict food safety and hygiene practices is critically important. The SFA’s firm actions highlight their dedication to public health and the integrity of Singapore’s food industry.

Food safety is a shared responsibility. The SFA encourages all food service providers to maintain high standards of food and personal hygiene. The agency remains vigilant and will take decisive action against any operator compromising on food safety standards.

References

Cancellation of license issued to Sakura Buffet Pte Ltd due to food safety concerns – Consumers advised not to buy from 12 web-based businesses linked to Sakura Buffet Pte Ltd. (2024, May 11). https://www.sfa.gov.sg/docs/default-source/press-releases/sfa-media-release—cancellation-of-license-issued-to-sakura-buffet-pte-ltd-due-to-food-safety-concerns.pdf?sfvrsn=8c89f594_1

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