Grain's hygiene status downgraded after spoilt curry causes gastroenteritis outbreak

Grain's hygiene status downgraded after spoilt curry causes gastroenteritis outbreak

The food delivery start-up has apologised for the May 15 incident, saying it came about after it tweaked the cooking process for its Thai green curry dish.

Singapore food start-up Grain pinned a post to its website apologising for an incident in May 2017 that caused the company's food hygiene status to be downgraded. 

SINGAPORE: Food delivery start-up Grain had its food hygiene status downgraded from A to C on Friday (Jul 14) after 20 people reported falling ill after eating food from the company, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said. 

The customers reported symptoms of the food-borne illness gastroenteritis on May 15, NEA said in its advisory.

"Following investigations, NEA has adjusted the food shop's food hygiene grade to C effective from Jul 14, 2017, to be reviewed in 12 months, and will keep the premises under surveillance meanwhile," said the agency. 

Grain, which counts Thai Express founder Ivan Lee and Wee Teng Wen of the Lo & Behold Group as its investors, has apologised for the incident, saying it had "made a mistake". 

In a post on Grain's Medium page, CEO Yi Sung Yong said the company took "full responsibility for the incident", which came about after it decided to reduce the usual simmering time for its Thai green curry dish. 

"This was done to avoid the coconut milk from splitting and making the dish too oily, a regular customer feedback. This resulted in the dish spoiling quicker than usual," said the CEO, who signed off as Sung. 

He added: "Unfortunately, by the time a customer pointed out that the green curry tasted 'funny', a number of our customers had already consumed this dish. We immediately removed this dish to avoid further consumption." 

Grain said that affected customers were compensated within the week and that hygiene and pest control lapses that were highlighted by the authorities at its Burn Road kitchen have been rectified. 

"We hate it when we disappoint our customers and we are sorry," said Sung.