Banana leaves left uncovered in the dirt outside Singapore restaurants

Bundles of banana leaves are often left on the pavement, exposed to the elements as well as to pests like rats, cockroaches and pigeons, before being used in Singapore restaurants.

The banana leaves are usually wiped with a damp cloth before being used to serve food on.

Student Nicholas Lee, 19, said he had assumed all restaurants have hygienic practices and would avoid restaurants which leave their banana leaves on the pavement.

A National Environment Agency spokesman said food shop operators must thoroughly wash the leaves before using them to serve food.