The man was seen cooking the pork trotters with a blow torch behind a row of well-known eateries at Blk 82 MacPherson Lane
A TikTok video of a man cooking pork trotters with a kitchen blow torch behind a row of eateries at Block 82 MacPherson Lane has gone viral. It is unclear when the video was taken, but the person taking the video can be seen wishing the cook ‘新年快乐’ (xīn nián kuài lè), or ‘Happy New Year’.
@brucemathieu8 #singaporetiktok #fun #fypシ #SG #fyp #singapore #brucemathieu #sgone #sgfyp #fypp #food #foodie #foodlover #foodlover #foodies #funnymoments ♬ original sound – brucemathieu8
The TikTok video was also shared by Facebook user Liza Rahim. Many who commented on the video said that they were shocked that this was happening in Singapore. Others asked for the authorities to investigate and take action against the man.
The cook seemed to be preparing pork trotters, or pig’s feet, using a kitchen blow torch. Chinese cooks usually singe off the hairs on the trotters to prepare them for cooking. The cook seemed happy to be on the video and engaged in small talk with the video-taker.
Block 82 MacPherson Lane is situated in a small, older HDB estate and is surrounded by a larger industrial estate. There are several well-known eateries serving Chinese cuisine at Block 82, and the nearby areas. It is unclear if the cook was preparing the food for the restaurants in the area, or for his own consumption.
It is illegal to prepare food outside in an unhygienic manner in Singapore. In 2018, the National Environment Agency (NEA) investigated the drying of raw meat on air-con vent outside a HDB flat in Beach Road. Shin Min Daily News reported then that racks of red, raw meat were left hanging outdoors to dry in the heat of dusty air-conditioner compressor vents along a second-storey HDB corridor in Beach Road. These racks of meat were allegedly meant for making meat jerky for sale – both directly to customers from the “home manufacturer” and from a store at the nearby Golden Mile Complex.
NEA cautioned then that it will not hesitate to take firm action against anyone found to be in violation of the Environmental Public Health Act. It also advised members of the public who come across food prepared in poor hygiene conditions to not purchase it, as the food may be unsafe.
Working with equipment like the blow torch in the public is also dangerous and could be a potential fire hazard. In 2015, People’s Daily Online reported how one chef’s kitchen experiment went horribly wrong when the gas canister he used to cook pork trotter ignited a coach. The newspaper said that the chef from Chongqing, south-west China, was cooking in a restaurant when the his DIY barbecue equipment caught fire. He panicked pushed the gas canister into the road, where it rolled under a bus and set it alight. No one was injured during the incident.