• Fri
  • Sep 19, 2014
  • Updated: 6:53pm

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

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. 


Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

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.
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.”
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?
you must be one of those filthy mainlanders.
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.
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.




SCMP.com Account