Isetan is a Japanese Department Store chain, which happens to have a couple of branches in Malaysia. Being Japanese, one could be lead to believe it would uphold certain standards, but the Malaysian branches are generally unbelievably poorly managed (as you can see here). While it is generally expensive and the products are poor and limited, they are unfortunately by far the closest supermarket to where I live (and the only other option Giant is even worse albeit a lot cheaper).
Today however I got the scare of my life (I am being serious here!), but before getting into that I need to explain something that happened a few days back. About a week ago I bought some sliced ham at Isetan’s non-halal section (the Lot 10 branch on Bukit Bintang). I had most of it but forgot a few slices, sealed in a plastic bag, in my refrigerator. Yesterday I noticed the ham and decided to chuck it out. Much to my surprise the darn thing was crawling with several maggots. While I would not have eaten the ham after a week in the fridge, it should not be crawling with maggots after a week unless it was contaminated by the time I bought it.
Forward to today, when I at 8pm saw this:
The important thing here is that while most things in the display case is wrapped in clingfilm, the ham is not. There are 3 pieces of ham completely uncovered. Also it is worth noticing the glass didn’t feel cold, so whatever temperature that display case it being kept at it is definitely not below 5 degrees Celsius (no visible thermometer). I asked the guy that attended the non-halal section how long it had been kept like that, and he said all day. This was at 8pm – that is 11 hours straight – cooked meat at something close to room temperature in an open display case. No wonder the darn thing is crawling with maggots after a few days.
Thinking back I actually did have quite a bad food poisoning with stomach cramps about a week ago, and by now I am quite certain where I caught that.
It is absolutely mind boggling that Isetan dare to be that careless with the health of their customers.
I am currently investigating who is responsible for this in Malaysia, and do believe me – proper authorities will be informed about this.