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Students launch “Don’t Eat Shit” campaign

The following is a press release by a group of students which have launched a hygiene campaign targeted at coffeeshops and hawker centers.


Date: 2 November 2011


STOP! Don’t Eat Shit!

Campaign calls the public to check on the state of public toilets in hawker centres and coffee shops.

The “Don’t Eat Shit” campaign is a student initiative led by a group of students from the Singapore Management University together with the World Toilet Organization. The campaign aims to highlight the conditions of public toilets in local hawker centres and coffee shops. Majority of them do not meet the required standards of public toilets in Singapore. Yet the situation simply continues with no action being taken.

These toilets are usually owned by owners who are more concerned with the crowds that go there to eat, than about hygiene. However, hawkers and vendors themselves use these toilets. Dirty toilets will result in unhygienic toilet habits and these food handlers may cause bacteria to be brought back to their stalls, passing them down to the food they sell.

The victim – customers.

This brings back the unfortunate incident of a lady who died from food poisoning after eating at a rojak stall in Geylang Serai. The chopping board had traces of bacteria that are found in faeces. If toilets at these places continue to be at its current state, it is just a matter of time before another person dies of the same reason.

The “Don’t Eat Shit” campaign aims to highlight to everyone that something has to be done to these dirty toilets. And it calls for people to stay away from these places which do not prioritize clean toilets. The campaign has seen support from popular retail chain which designed the campaign logo and we are looking to commence sale of the “Don’t Eat Shit” themed T-shirts in the near future.

The World Toilet Organization is reaching out to everyone in Singapore to become more aware of the surroundings that they eat in. With a majority outcry, hawker centres will one day have clean toilets accompanied with good food that Singaporeans enjoy.


The “Don’t Eat Shit” campaign is basically a movement to persuade hawkers to provide clean toilets for their customers. This campaign is championed by a group of SMU students and supported by and the World Toilet Organization.

Most hawker centres and coffee shops toilets do not have soap or toilet paper, and customers are still going there to eat. However, without soap and toilet paper, the main and most frequent users are actually the hawkers themselves. After they have used the toilets, they do not use soap to clean off all the bacteria and viruses from their hands.

And the only way to clean them off is by transferring them to the food that they are preparing. So in reality, we are actually “EATING SHIT” indirectly. The main cause of all these problems is actually the condition of the toilets. The hawkers have no incentive to provide clean toilets, because it is already a common stereotype that you must have a dirty toilet to be called a hawker centre or coffee shop.