Hot pot shock sparks restaurants probe
Beijing’s food safety watchdog has begun a two-week inspection of the city’s restaurants after a shock video taken at two branches of a popular hot pot chain.
Videos taken by hidden cameras showed rats in the kitchen, a dishwasher caked with oily food residue, and a worker trying to fix sewage clog with a soup ladle.
The Sichuan Province-based Haidilao hot pot chain admitted its management faults in a frank public statement, apologizing for the scandal.
In recent years, Haidilao took major Chinese cities by storm with its signature spicy Sichuanese hot pot and excellent service. According to its website, Haidilao operates in about 60 Chinese cities and has expanded to Los Angeles, Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo.
The Beijing Food and Drug Administration said the inspection will target both restaurant chains and canteen suppliers with a focus on dishwashers, sanitation equipment, and measures to keep off pests and diseases.
The watchdog has also ordered Haidilao to open its kitchens to the public in a month and report the overhaul measures. The chain’s sanitation ratings will be downgraded.
Haidilao promised to ensure all its restaurants both in China and abroad maintain good sanitation standards.