SINGAPORE: When executive Candy Chan, 47, returned from work on Tuesday (Sep 4), she was confronted with an unappetising situation: There was plastic mixed into the minced pork her domestic helper had bought.
In a post on Facebook that has since been shared more than 3,000 times, Ms Chan wrote that her helper purchased the meat at about 3pm from supermarket chain Giant's outlet at Marine Terrace, and discovered the plastic after boiling the meat.
Ms Chan told her helper to return to the supermarket and purchase another packet of the same meat. They found plastic in that one too.
According to the post which has since been taken down, Ms Chan and her helper boiled the product on high heat and the plastic in it did not melt.
The helper also said that there were "a lot of packets" of the meat in the supermarket when she bought the first packet at about 3pm, but when she visited the store again at about 8pm the same day, only two were left.
"Crazy disgusting supplier!" wrote Ms Chan.
Ms Chan, who said she was sharing the story "to create consumer awareness and perform my civic duty", told Channel NewsAsia the supplier of the meat, Tiong Lian Food, contacted her after her Facebook post and apologised.
According to a screenshot of a Facebook message shared with Channel NewsAsia, Tiong Lian Food said that the contamination arose because its staff overlooked that transparent plastic packaging had gotten stuck in the imported, frozen meat which had been wrapped tightly with plastic.
Its quality control personnel also failed to spot the plastic hidden within the finished product, the supplier said.
"We are deeply sorry regarding this incident that happened and our company owes our valued customers the deepest apologies, we take pride in our customer satisfaction and such a mistake is not acceptable," said Tiong Lian Food in its message to Ms Chan.
The company added that after being informed of the incident, it "immediately initiated an urgent removal of all affected products from further purchase by other customers".
To prevent the issue from recurring, it also promised to implement stringent quality checks for any foreign materials before and after the production of its products.
In response to Channel NewsAsia's queries, Giant said it takes food safety and quality issues very seriously.
"We initiated an immediate removal of this batch of item from all stores on Wednesday to protect customer safety, and as a matter of urgency, contacted the supplier to look into the issue."
To date, the supermarket chain has not received similar complaints from any other customers, it added.
After this incident, Ms Chan said her family will be buying whole cuts of meat and mincing it at home.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority said it is looking into the case.