A shopping centre in Malaysia has apologised for throwing away 600kg of Sarawak laksa, a spicy noodle soup, after breaking the country’s record for popular street food.
Social media users slammed the decision to get rid of the food, equivalent to 1,500 regular sized bowls.
The Plaza Merdeka in Kuching cited safety reasons for the move.
But it said the wastage was an “unfortunate oversight and misjudgement”.
It took 15 cooks and 18 hours to prepare the dish.
Malaysia’s giant bowl of laksa
- 100kg laksa paste
- 225kg rice noodles
- 90kg prawns
- 1,008 eggs
- 90kg bean sprouts
- 80kg chicken
Cheah Kheng Mun, the shopping centre’s general manager, told reporters they could not “simply give away” the laksa because they had been advised to maintain the soup gravy at a certain temperature.
He also revealed that the giant bowl of laksa had started to give off an odour.
After being flooded with angry comments on its Facebook page, the shopping mall issued an apology.
“We are very grateful to the public for pointing out the issue of food wastage. We would not try to justify ourselves in this respect. We apologize for the oversight and misjudgement,” it said.
The angry comments included Justin Lim, who wrote: “To the organiser who throws away a few hundred kilos of meat, prawns, veg and over a thousand eggs, please google “famine” first and then after that live in shame for the rest if your life.”
Shar Izat Kasumajaya said: “All that the organisers thought of was acquiring the record. There are hundreds of thousands of people living under the poverty line. To throw away the equivalent of 1,500 bowls of food is just wrong. It’s shameful. It’s foul.”
But some other users, such as Patricia Kim, hoped the apology would put an “end to the saga”.
Celebrity chef Datuk Redzuawan Ismail, better known as Chef Wan, took part in the event.
Originally from the Sarawak state on the Borneo Island, the eponymous dish is a spicy rice noodle soup.
Official figures show that 15,000 tonnes of food is discarded in Malaysia every day, even though 3,000 tonnes of it is still good for consumption.