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  • Updated: 11:22pm

China Food Scandals

A crisis in confidence in China's food industry emerged after melamine was found in domestically produced baby formula in 2008. The scandal sickened 300,000 babies and resulted in six premature deaths. Other stories of fake eggs, diseased pork, recycled oil, mislabelled meat and more have only led to more calls for industry reform.

NewsChina Insider
FOOD SAFETY

More bacteria found in Beijing fast-food ice cubes than toilet water

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 July, 2013, 11:05am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 July, 2013, 6:07pm
 

Sometimes you're better off drinking from a fast-food chain's toilet than its carbonated drinks.

Ice cubes served in soft drinks can be dirtier than toilet water, an investigation by China's national television revealed on Saturday.

The report prompted the nation's largest fast-food chain KFC to apologise for serving ice cubes at a Beijing branch with a bacterial count 13 times higher than toilet water and 18 times higher than the national standard.

The company said in its apology that following the report, it had cleaned and disinfected its ice cube maker at the Chongwenmen branch.

Ice cubes at a local branch of Kongfu, a Chinese fast-food chain, was also found to have a bacterial count six times higher than toilet water. Ice cubes at a local McDonald's branch tested cleaner than toilet water, but still did not meet national hygiene standards.

The two fast-food chains have also apologised as the topic became the most widely discussed issue on Chinese microblogs at the weekend, with more than 100,000 people wading into the debate.

The Beijing Times found customers of the three branches in Chongwenmen to be largely indifferent to the revelations.

One internet user asked: "What about other chains?" 

Yum Brands, owner of KFC and other restaurant chains, said it would release water tests from its other chains in China, including Little Sheep hotpot, East Dawning and Pizza Hut.

Yum is still recovering from earlier food scares and scandals, including media reports in December than it used illegal drugs to quicken poultry growth.

"KFC sales and profits in China were significantly impacted by intense media surrounding avian flu, as well as the residual effect of the December poultry supply incident," chief executive David C Novak said in a statement this month. 

Contaminated ice cubes are not a solely Chinese phenomenon. A test of restaurant chains in Britain in May revealed that six out of 10 restaurants offered cleaner water in their toilets than in their drinks. 

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15

This article is now closed to comments

bolshoi
Why didn't SCMP Editor-in-Chief make this news a headline? As it is, this newspaper is becoming more and more like Apple Daily, which will certainly suit Hongkongers' taste. Patrick Boehler, the reporter responsible for this story, also wrote a piece on 'Can... be China's very own Arab spring?'. I think this is quite telling of his bias (or worse dirty agenda). I started subscribing to this newspaper only because of the Snowden news and will certainly cancel my subscription next month in disgust.
ejmciii
baishui, I have been to that hole enough times and if I never go again it will be a decade too soon. Personally, I like Coke Zero and do not care one lick what you think, zippy.
shayliu
Why is this news. Just type in "toilet water cleaner than restaurant ice" in google and you will find out that this also applies for countries such as UK and US. No big deal!
molivan
The best way is not to go to China or bring your own food. It will take a decade before China can
meet international food standard. Government does not seem to see it as an urgent issue. They were used to it for 100 years.
ejmciii
Oh, they do not suck up to the Masters in Beijing. Wow. They report stories you don't like. Sorry, but your masters in Beijing do not yet control Hong Kong, slave.
bolshoi
@ejmciii: Coke is far worse than toilet water as far as your health is concerned. Your stupid comment only shows your ignorance. Please don't go to Beijing (or the UK for that matter - if you don't know what I mean, please read the last paragraph of the article). Stay where you are and keep drinking Coke. :)
johnyuan
It is almost next to saying the sky is falling in bringing ice cubes to sky high of attention. Chinese majority don’t EVEN use ice cubes in their drinks like American do. Chinese even prefer their beer at room temperature. Sure nevertheless ice cubes should be as clean and safe as drinking water. But for the writer to equate and compare with toilet water for the dirty one is really gross and uncivilized. Bring my own ice cubes?
…….
Look up New Yorkers back issue, there is a fascinating story on the invention of ice cube machine (in USA) and the big family business rivalry associated with the invention.
pslhk
It took a cheap bigot
to come up with such a cheap headline
-
Toilet water certainly contains no
chewing gum, worm, cockroach and blood
but these are found in fast food served in the US
-
According to a recent NBC Dateline investigation in the US
“The 1,000 restaurants we sampled totaled 1,755 critical violations,
and 613 restaurants were cited at least once.
That’s more than 60 percent with problems inspectors
consider potentially hazardous to your health.”
****www.nbcnews.com/id/3473728/ns/dateline_nbc-consumer_alert/t/dirty-dining/
-
Lea Thompson: “By definition, is a critical violation something that could make you sick?”
Smith-Dewaal: “Yes.”
Thompson: “Is it unrealistic to expect a fast food restaurant to come up with a clean bill of health every single time an inspector walks in the door.”
Smith-Dewaal: “The government inspector is the last checkpoint. The restaurant itself should be doing inspections and checking for critical violations every day. They shouldn’t wait for a government inspector to tell them they’re doing it wrong.”
--
international food standard?
bring your own food?
Who's used to what for how many years?
nosidam
Cheap bigot? Where is the bias to bigotry? The bacteria count was a certain level. That is a fact. It could make children and some seniors sick. That is a fact. The majority of mainland China food and water supply is not up to international standards or the standards you have cited from the US. At least there are health inspectors in the US that are there to do a job and not accept a kickback or bribe, with few exceptions. When was the last time you saw a restaurant worker in China use disposable gloves to handle food or soap in a public restroom for anyone? Probably never, It is one reason the Starbucks in the mainland gives plastic gloves to the customers when they buy a sandwich.
johnh
@baishui: LOL I should have guessed you were a PRC zombie ;) If you really don't appreciate freedom of the press, why don't you move to China, or better yet North Korea, and stay there :)

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