Chinese hotpot chain kitchen worker leaves footprint on food in the latest hygiene scandal
The 1,200-outlet Yangguofu Malatang chain sacks restaurant employee after customer spots him resting his feet on meat he was chopping
A large hotpot chain has sacked a worker in southern China for unhygienically preparing ingredients, days after another Chinese hotpot chain was exposed in a food hygiene scandal, according to reports.
The unnamed male employee was chopping meat in the kitchen while resting his feet on the board, with his toes sometimes touching the raw ingredients, ThePaper.cn reported this week.
He was said to have been spotted by a diner while working at a Guangzhou city branch of Yangguofu Malatang.
The Chinese hotpot chain has 1,200 restaurants across China, as well as in Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Zheng, manager of the restaurant, confirmed that the video was taken at his branch.
He told ThePaper.cn the employee was a temporary worker who had not been put through the full assessment process, and was usually responsible for cleaning the kitchen and ingredients.
“We take responsibility for our management being poorly handled, and we will strengthen it,” he was quoted as saying.
“Recently it has been very hard to recruit people, so it has led to situations like this,” Zheng was quoted as saying by PearVideo.
The worker was dismissed and the meat thrown away, he said.
A spokesperson at the provincial headquarters of the company confirmed that the restaurant was its franchise, the report stated, and said it would consider shutting the branch if “concerning matters” were found.
The local food and drug administration is involved in the investigation.
Last week, another hotpot chain, Xiaolongkan, closed three of its restaurants in China over allegations that they had reused leftover meat, recycled cooking oil and broken hygiene regulations.
The three restaurants were in the southwestern Chengdu province, and the cities of Changchun and Harbin in northeast China.
Last year, two of the Haidilao hotpot chain of restaurants in Beijing were accused of hygiene problems including cutlery being washed with dirty brooms and cloths, and rats in the kitchen.
Its 26 branches in the capital now offer a live video stream so that customers can watch its kitchen practices.
The Xiaolongkan and Haidilao chains have restaurants in other parts of the world, including Singapore, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.