A restaurant in Taiwan may face a hefty fine from the government after it was found serving leftover food to mainland tourist groups, the Taipei-based United Daily News reported on Wednesday.
The deputy general-manager of the popular Taimali Baishawan restaurant in Taitung county apologised to customers and said the manager responsible had been sacked.
A video recorded by a former restaurant employee showed kitchen staff serving customers half-eaten leftovers on clean dishes.
The Taiwan health bureau has issued a deadline for the restaurant to “improve its service” and warned tourists to be more aware of what they eat.
Mainland broadcaster China Central Television aired a news segment on CCTV-4 on Wednesday with the headline “Taitung black-hearted restaurant serves recycled food to mainland tourists”.
According to the Global Times  newspaper, the restaurant could be fined up to NT$6 million (HK$1.6 million).
Taimali Baishawan serves local fare and caters to more than 10,000 tourists a month, Shanghai Daily said.
Kaohsiung Tourism Association president Huang Chin-hsiang admitted the incident would impact the reputation of Taiwan’s tourism industry and blamed the problem on low-cost tour packages organised by Taiwan and mainland tour agencies.
This is the second scandal in a year involving restaurants in Taiwan serving leftovers to mainland tourists. A noodle eatery was exposed last year.
Mainland visitors to Taiwan hit a record 1.97 million in 2012, up 58 per cent from the year before, according to the Association for Tourism Exchange Across the Taiwan Straits. Half of those mainland visitors were in tourist groups.