(Yicai Global) Aug. 30 -- A Singapore branch of Haidilao, a leading Chinese hot pot restaurant chain operated by Sichuan Haidilao Catering Co., faces a fine for local food safety violations, a National Environment Agency (NEA) spokesperson said.
An NEA official caught an employee at the store handling food with his bare hands during a routine check this month, The Straits Times reported.
Such an infringement may lead to a fine of up to USD1,455 (CNY9,750) or business license revocation, per Singaporean regulations.
Haidilao's Singaporean branch said it is taking the matter very seriously. Haidilao restaurants in Singapore carried out thorough inspections and increased the frequency of pest checks from once to twice a month after reports of unhygienic activities at a Beijing location.
The media exposed issues at a Haidilao in Beijing. The eatery had a rat-infested kitchen, incomplete disinfection records and eating utensils strewn at random. The company responded swiftly, acknowledged the unsanitary practices and promised to remedy them.
Founded in 1994, Sichuan Haidilao Catering Co. has about 190 shops in 57 mainland Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. It has also opened stores in Taiwan, Singapore, Los Angeles (US), Seoul (South Korea) and Tokyo (Japan).