Bei­jing look­ing for restau­rants with un­hy­gienic kitchens

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 4 China - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­ Xinhua contributed to this story.

Bei­jing’s food safety watch­dog has be­gun a two-week san­i­ta­tion in­spec­tion of the city’s restau­rants, fol­low­ing news re­ports that two Bei­jing branches of a pop­u­lar hot­pot chain were un­hy­gienic.

The Bei­jing Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced the in­spec­tion over the week­end, say­ing its main tar­gets will be restau­rant chains, can­teen sup­pli­ers and es­tab­lish­ments with pre­vi­ous food safety prob­lems.

“Busi­ness li­censes, dish­wash­ers, san­i­ta­tion equip­ment and pest and dis­ease con­trol are the fo­cus of the in­spec­tion,” said Duan Zhiy­ong, direc­tor of the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s su­per­vi­sion depart­ment.

Le­gal Evening News, a Bei­jing news­pa­per, re­ported on Fri­day that the op­er­a­tions of two Bei­jing branches of Haidi­lao, a pop­u­lar hot­pot chain with restau­rants in about 60 Chi­nese cities, were un­san­i­tary.

Videos taken by hid­den cam­eras showed rat-in­fested kitchens, a dish­washer caked with oily food residue and a worker try­ing to fix a sewage block­age with a soup la­dle.

The hot­pot chain, which orig­i­nated in Jianyang, Sichuan prov­ince, ad­mit­ted its man­age­ment faults and apol­o­gized in a pub­lic state­ment is­sued on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion has launched a safety check on all branches of the hot­pot chain in the city and talked to rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the com­pany on Satur­day.

“We’ve also or­dered Haidi­lao to open its kitchens to the pub­lic in a month and re­port its over­haul mea­sures,” the state­ment said, adding that the chain’s san­i­ta­tion rat­ing will be down­graded.

Fan Jing, a Bei­jing na­tive and a hot­pot fan, ap­plauded the in­spec­tion, “be­cause food safety must take pri­or­ity in a restau­rant’s op­er­a­tion”. But she said the in­spec­tion should be ex­tended to small can­teens in the city.

“Food safety checks in su­per­mar­kets or big restau­rants are com­mon, but gro­cery stores with some safety risks in com­mu­ni­ties are rarely in­spected,” she said.

Li Xiaoou, another Bei­jing na­tive, said the ad­min­is­tra­tion should dis­close the in­spec­tion re­sults in a timely man­ner on­line, to help res­i­dents know about prob­lems and which restau­rants are un­hy­gienic.

“Af­ter all, we can­not check whether a restau­rant’s kitchen is clean or not when we eat there. What we rely on is the au­thor­i­ties’ in­creas­ing su­per­vi­sion, and self-in­spec­tions by the restau­rants,” he said.

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