Beancurd skin, or sometimes called tofu sheet, yuba or fucuk, is something we always eat in Malaysian food, such as laksa, steamboat, dim sum, chilli pan mee and so on. But after seeing these pictures, you might want to skip it in your meal next time.
We always hear people say that the process of making beancurd is filthy as many of the factories do not adopt hygienic practices. It seems like the saying holds some truth as Penang Health Department has dubbed this factory in Seberang Perai as the filthiest beancurd skin factory they have ever seen.
The state Health Department recently visited Simpang Ampat after receiving reports that the area was swamped with mosquitos that put the people at risk of dengue. Amidst the investigation in the oil palm plantation area, they came across a secluded shelter that was covered with wooden walls and metal sheets roof. It was also surrounded by big piles of wooden wastes, plastics and trash.
They inspected the place and found out that it was a beancurd sheet production factory in a shabby condition. Yesterday (Dec 5), they raided the premise along with the members of the media to expose the factory’s squalid condition to the world, calling it the filthiest beancurd factory they have ever come across. Does that mean many beancurd companies are also dirty as well? Yucks!
According to Sin Chew, the factory was manned by topless employees as they couldn’t stand the heat from the long beancurd skin cooking process. The factory didn’t have any air ventilation system as well.
The employees pressed against the beancurd skin with their lower body (with pants on) before laying them in the cooking blocks. Some employees were seen sweating all over and who would know how much of it was added to the food.
The factory was also dimly lit as not many lights were installed, China Press reporters saw only a few of them were illuminating.
Based on the reporters’ observation, cobwebs were found in many corners of the factory and that the beancurd skins were hung under the roof to let dry. Molds were also found forming on the preparation platforms! Basically, the factory looked like a place after a fire accident.
Penang Health Department enforcement chief Ong Ang Guan said the foreign workers couldn’t speak Bahasa Malaysia, and they couldn’t obtain any information on the factory, including whether the workers had been vaccinated or not.
Ong said, “the factory’s infrastructure does not meet the stipulated standards, there is no material storage room, no packaging area, the cooking table and tools for the production are not clean as they looked unwashed, the employees are not wearing proper attire, and the clothes are dried in the place where beancurd skins are cooked. The administration, the hygiene and quality management are really bad.”
The factory was ordered to shut down for 14 days and that the employees had to stop working immediately.
Ong later added that the factory has been operating for over 10 years and there were 7 employees who didn’t have typhoid injections.
You may watch the video on the next page.