Workers’ Daily August 29
After rats were found in some kitchens of a well-known hotpot chain restaurant, the China Food and Drug Administration has asked the restaurant to open all its kitchens to public inspection. With China’s catering industry undergoing a “kitchen reform,” there is a demand for restaurant kitchens, which used to be out of bounds for customers, to be put under public supervision.
The kitchen reform entails opening up restaurant kitchens to customers through transparent glass or screens. Surveys show that 94 percent of diners in first-tier cities have said that this measure has boosted their trust in restaurants’ food safety.
However, some restaurants are coming up with ways to avoid full public inspection. For example, they are throwing open units that are not critical to food safety such as where the washing is done. Some blur images of the kitchen as they appear on monitoring screens.
Given these problems, it’s important to increase professional supervisory staff. After all, they are the strongest force to standardize murky restaurant kitchens. Consumers’ complaints are far from enough to deter such restaurants.
It’s also necessary to encourage consumers to report breaches of food safety rules by awarding them and protecting their legitimate rights. With strong legal and policy backup, consumers can also play a big role in the kitchen reform.