NTUC Foodfare ‘investigating’ workers who barefisted face masks

Three workers pack face masks into boxes in an image posted Monday to social media. Photo: Dee Umairah/Facebook
Three workers pack face masks into boxes in an image posted Monday to social media. Photo: Dee Umairah/Facebook

Workers caught on video sorting face masks in the open without taking hygienic precautions are now being investigated by NTUC Foodfare.

The food court operator said yesterday it would look into three workers seen repacking face masks with their bare hands behind a company truck in a video posted online by Facebook user Dee Umairah. 

“We are aware of a Facebook post of face masks being repacked in the open behind a Foodfare truck being circulated in social media. We are currently investigating and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against any errant employee including reporting to the police for further investigation if needed,” NTUC Foodfare’s statement read. 

According to Dee Umairah, the incident happened Saturday at a carpark on Woodlands Avenue 6. 

Although the masks were transported in its trucks, NTUC Foodfare said they weren’t its property.

“We will like to assure the public that those masks in the photo did not belong to NTUC Foodfare and neither are they meant for any of our staff or customers. We will like to thank the Facebook user for helping to shed light on this matter especially during such critical period in the nation’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic,” its statement said.

The roughly 20-second clip shows the employees unpacking the face masks from plastic wrappers and repacking them into small white boxes. None wears gloves or any protective equipment. The woman then carries the boxes into the truck. In Dee Umairah’s post, she also demanded an explanation from NTUC Foodfare. 

“Am not here to shame them am just sharing look at where they repack the face mask is that the correct protocol to handle a mask was shock to see them doing these,” Dee wrote. 

Among those who commented on the clip were two Facebook users who questioned why Dee Umairah had not tried to stop the trio. 

“[N]ot happy then why [don’t you] tell them on the spot? [W]ait till the virus spread and enter [don’t know] how many families [already],” Leonardo Lion Leong said.

“Report to the authorities. No point [waiting for NTUC] to get back to [you] as they may not be able to investigate as fast as authorities can. These [people] need to have punishment,” Shermin Tan said.

NTUC Foodfare’s statement came eight hours after the video, which has now been shared more than 4,000 times.

Some netizens remained unconvinced by the company’s explanation.

“If the mask is not meant for staff or customer then [you] get 5 big boxes [of] mask to do what?” Facebook user Jer Projectveneno said.

“[A]mazing that they have masks by the boxes and driving the foodfare truck… but they are not for the staff or customers?” Facebook user Cheng Tianfu said.

The government is now encouraging Singaporeans to wear face masks amid the coronavirus outbreak. Unfortunately, some people may now be put off by it.

Singapore has reported 1375 confirmed cases and 6 deaths since the outbreak began in January.

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