Tim Palace restaurant suspended for expired pre-packed food, unregistered food handlers

SINGAPORE - Tim Palace restaurant at Safra Toa Payoh has been suspended for two weeks by the National Environment Agency (NEA) starting from Monday (June 5).

A notice on the NEA website said the Gim Tim group restaurant was suspended for failing to keep its licensed premises clean, failing to register assistants or food handlers, and sale of pre-packed food after the expiry date.

Some earlier media reports had said that the restaurant was suspended for rats on the premises. However, The Straits Times understands that the restaurant was not suspended for rats.

The Chinese restaurant was fined $1,000 for the offences, and will reopen on June 19.

On its Facebook page, Tim Palace restaurant said it was closing for renovation from June 5 to June 18 and directed customers to its other outlets at Imperial Court or Gim Tim, both in Ang Mo Kio.

Some Facebook users commented on the post, saying the restaurant should be honest with the reason for its closure. The restaurant has since removed its post.

When The Straits Times contacted the Toa Payoh outlet, two staff members said it was closing for "kitchen cleaning and maintenance" and said they were not aware of the NEA suspension.

The outlet was suspended as it has accumulated 14 demerit points over the last 12 months. Under NEA's system, licensees who accumulate 12 or more demerit points during a 12-month period can be suspended for two or four weeks, or have their licences cancelled.

All food handlers at the restaurant, at 293, Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, must attend and pass the Basic Food Hygiene Course again before they can resume working as food handlers.