A popular restaurant in Taitung county, Taiwan, could be fined up to NT$6 million ($206,794) for serving leftovers to tourist groups from the Chinese mainland, reported the Taipei-based United Daily News Tuesday.
Authorities have told the Baishawan restaurant to immediately stop the disgusting practice, which was exposed in a 14-minute cellphone video shot by a former employee. It showed meat and other leftovers being placed on clean plates and served to diners from the mainland.
The county's health bureau may have added to the controversy by giving the restaurant only a deadline to improve its service.
It also said the restaurant would be fined but has not indicated how large it would be, the newspaper reported.
Lin Shu-yun, deputy general manager of Baishawan, apologized to furious customers and said that the restaurant's manager surnamed Lu, who ordered staff to recycle the leftovers, has been fired.
Piao Jie, a mainland exchange student in Taiwan, told the Global Times Wednesday that although she hasn't eaten at the restaurant, her local friends strongly recommended it. "It's surprising to hear such a scandal from a restaurant with a good reputation," Piao said.
A consultant from the Beijing-based tourism agency, BTG International Travel and Tours, told the Global Times Wednesday that it takes tourists to Taiwan to restaurants that are chosen from a list of contracted caterers. The choice of eatery also depends on local tour guides.
"We haven't received any notice from the tourism bureau or our partners in Taiwan asking us to remove the restaurant from the list," she said.
Huang Chin-hsiang, president of the tourism association of the city of Kaohsiung, apologized for the incident and acknowledged it may harm the reputation of Taiwan's tourism.
He blamed part of the problem on low-priced tour packages offered by both Taiwan and mainland agencies.
Huang said that a reasonable price for a five-to-seven-day tour is at least 6,500 yuan, while the Global Times found that many mainland agencies offer a 7-day tour for as little as 4,200 yuan.