Hot pot restaurant apologizes for plastic found in its meat
Published: Jul 21, 2020 02:17 AM

Hotpot restaurant Haidilao. Photo: IC

Haidilao, a leading Chinese hot pot restaurant chain, apologized on Monday after a customer found a bit of plastic in some chicken. It said the staff at its supply factory hadn't followed the standard operating procedure with the meat, resulting in a label being dropped into the product, reported on Monday night.

The customer was having meal at a Haidilao hot pot restaurant in Jinan, East China's Shandong Province on July 12. Media reports said Haidilao staff offered the customer a 500-yuan coupon, which the customer refused.

Haidilao told that the restaurant manager apologized at once and accompanied the customer for a health check the next day.

Haidilao also said it will deal with suppliers in accordance with the management system and require them to strengthen internal production process operation standards and verification efforts, as well as strengthening training at the store end to strictly follow the standard operation procedure and avoid such incidents.

Some Chinese netizens commented on Twitter-like Sina Weibo that they were disappointed that Haidilao, as such a big brand, could make such simple mistakes with food security. Some expressed concerns about having meals in Haidilao restaurants, while others said it was understandable as suppliers can't be supervised all the time.

According to its official website, Haidilao has more than 700 branches in over 110 cities in China and also has branches in nine foreign countries including the US, the UK and Singapore.

On July 7, Haidilao issued a profit warning. Based on a preliminary review of unaudited management accounts for the six months ending June 30 and the board's assessment of the latest available information, the company expects revenue for the period to decline by about 20 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

In the announcement, Haidilao explained that the epidemic prevention measures and consumption restrictions in various countries and regions during the COVID-19 pandemic have had a significant impact on the company's business since January.

In order to contain the spread of the epidemic, Haidilao voluntarily suspended the operation of all its stores in the Chinese mainland from January 26 to March 12. Affected by the epidemic in other countries and regions, Haidilao's local stores have also been closed for a period of time or suspended in-store food services.

Haidilao pointed out that the company has also been actively expanding its store network during the outbreak. Complying with state and local government regulations, stores observe epidemic prevention measures to ensure the health and safety of employees, it said.