China: Around The Nation

Over 100 Beijing restaurants found serving food made in filthy kitchens

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 August, 2016, 3:19pm
UPDATED : Monday, 08 August, 2016, 3:19pm

More than 100 unlicensed restaurants in a Beijing neighbourhood have been found serving food prepared in unhygienic environments.

The 102 restaurants – of which 73 provide take-out services via mobile apps – are located on the first floor of 11 buildings in Beijing’s Xiangsu neighbourhood, The Beijing News reported.

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With limited space to operate, most of the restaurants have been providing only take-out services since 2013.

Because of low start-up barriers and intense competition among eateries in the neighbourhood, many restaurants open and close each year, according to the article.

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Xiangsu neighbourhood, with its 9,700 households, is the most crowded community in east Beijing. Located next to over 30 office buildings, it is a popular location for such restaurants.

But these restaurants’ operating environment has been going unsupervised.

Pictures in the article show smoke vents directly facing buildings’ exteriors and oil spilled on lawns, killing vegetation nearby.

In the restaurants’ narrow kitchens, skewers are prepared directly above rubbish bins, dirty mops are placed next to sinks and most of the ingredients are prepared by hand.

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One restaurant manager said the owners were not worried about meeting standards for inspections.

They could simply close their stores during the checks, he said. Other eateries deceived officials with fake licences, according to the report.

The Xiangsu real estate office said more than 90 per cent of the restaurants were operating without business licences.

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Though the office has banned the opening of new restaurants and highlighted the situation to the authorities, it does not have the power to force the restaurants to move, said a manager surnamed Ma.

He could only sue the restaurants if their operations disturb their neighbours, he said.