A Nasty Experience
by Matthew Cheong (P5 2021)
The food court bustled with eager diners looking to satisfy their hunger. As my family searched for a place to sit down during the peak lunch hour, I came across the same but now unpopular dirty chicken rice stall. The stall owner was seated to the side of the closed stall, with the shutter down sighing at the absence of customers at his stall. I glanced at a sign that said, ‘We are permanently closed’. I grinned and the events of that fateful day raced into my memory as it played out vividly.
“I’m so hungry! When are we going to find a table? It has been forever,” I grumbled as I clutched my stomach that was protesting for food.
It was the peak lunch-time hour and my mother and I were at the nearby hawker centre. People made a beeline to the various stalls and the hawker centre was bustling with activity as there was incessant chatter amongst hawkers and diners. I grumbled as I was hungry. I had woken up late this morning for my tuition so I had eaten my breakfast. Fortunately, we found a seat at the far corner of the hawker centre and we quickly sat down at the table. I grabbed the money offered by my mother and went to buy food.
I eyed the nearest chicken stall as I loved chicken rice. As I walked closer, I saw a few awards hanging on the wall and there was a long queue. The display seemed to be clean but as I walked closer, I saw the person did not use gloves and there was grime on the utensils. I did hesitate at first but when my stomach grumbled, I decided to join the queue to buy the stalls’ chicken rice. After a while, I ordered a plate of chicken rice and went back to the table, carrying a plate of chicken rice.
Once my mother placed her food on the table, I quickly picked up my utensils and devoured my food. As we went home, I felt a sharp pain in my stomach and it needled my sides. I grimaced as I held on to the sides of my stomach. I was in the toilet for a long time until my mother came to the door and was worried that something had happened. Then, she brought me to the doctor.
When we reached the clinic, the throbbing pain continued to hurt my stomach and I was quickly ushered to the doctor. After he did a check online and asked what had happened, he concluded that the E.coli bacteria present in the chicken rice had caused my illness. I felt ashamed at my decision to buy the chicken rice. He prescribed me some medicine and gave a 3-day medical leave. I bowed my head in disappointment as I had to have my medical leave during my recess play which happened biweekly.
While I was recuperating, I decided to report this stall to the Singapore Food Agency as I did not want other people to have the same experience as I had. A few days later, I read a newspaper about the same stall and it turned out that I was not the only one who got sick…
“Matthew, quick! We found a table! Quick, come and sit down!” my mother shouted out to me.