Owner of Eng San Ginseng & Birdnest defends food sampling at store

Eng San Ginseng & Birdnest in Bencoolen, at left. An employee wears his mask below his nose, at right. Photos: Viola Loke/Facebook
Eng San Ginseng & Birdnest in Bencoolen, at left. An employee wears his mask below his nose, at right. Photos: Viola Loke/Facebook

The owner of a Chinese health store accused of unhygienic practices said today that he’s been allowing customers to dunk their hands into bags of snacks since it opened 20 years ago after being accused of violating pandemic health codes. 

After a report that customers were grabbing snacks such as dried prawns and nuts to taste at Eng San Ginseng & Birdnest shop in Bencoolen – a no-no under current rules – the shop’s 80-year-old owner told Coconuts today that he wasn’t worried about the haters. 

“I’ve been in this business for 20 years. We have covers on all our food. If they sample it and are satisfied with my food then they will buy,” Lee Yam Poh said in an interview. “It’s OK, let them do what they want. My business will continue to prosper.”

He was responding to a complaint made by Viola Loke, who also posted images from the shop Saturday, one of which showed an employee not wearing his face mask properly, a matter Lee declined to address. 

Retailers are required to adhere to COVID-19 safety measures such as ensuring social distancing, conducting temperature checks, and recording visits. Sampling food on the spot is not allowed though businesses can distribute samples in sealed packages for customers to try later. 

Loke also complained that nobody had stopped customers from trying out the snacks.

“It was observed that customers removed their masks and put their hands freely into the bags and bags of dried food, happily sampling away and discussing which is nice,” she said. “The shopkeepers were aware but none of them were stopping the customers.”

Is this even allowed during this pandemic situation???

No 1m safe distancing and sampling of dried food.

A shop at…

Posted by Viola Loke on Friday, 29 January 2021

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