Market regulator in Beijing to investigate three Blue Frog stores over food safety concerns
Published: Mar 16, 2023 01:51 AM
Restaurants see more customers as Beijing further loosens COVID control measures. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Restaurants see more customers as Beijing further loosens COVID control measures. Photo: Li Hao/GT

The market regulator in Beijing's Chaoyang district initiated an investigation into three Blue Frog bar & grill restaurants in the area on Wednesday which also marks the World Consumer Rights Day.  This followed a media report revealing inappropriate kitchen operations that raised concerns about food safety at one of the stores located in U-Town Mall.

The Global Times learned that the domestic mapping platform Amap showed an involved Blue Frog located in U-Town mall already suspended services and the phone number could not be reached. A staff member from another Beijing-based Blue Frog store told the Global Times on Wednesday that an investigation was underway at an individual store, but their store was not affected and was operating normally.

The popular restaurant brand apologized for the situation and announced that the store in U-Town Mall would suspend operations for rectification, conduct a full review of food safety issues, and implement regular reviews and inspections for all stores while strengthening employee training. 

A reporter from Beijing Radio and Television Station (BRTV) conducted an undercover investigation at the Blue Frog bar & grill restaurant in U-Town Mall, revealing inappropriate operations such as using black and rotten fruits to make salad, randomly replacing food expiration date labels, and wiping garbage cans with knives that were previously used to clean them, Beijing Youth Daily reported on Wednesday. 

Chaoyang's market supervision authority inspected the involved Blue Frog restaurant in U-Town Mall on Wednesday and found incomplete records for disinfection and food damage reports. The regulator launched an investigation of the store, which is now closed for rectification, and will conduct a food safety inspection of all ten Blue Frog restaurants in the district. 

Meanwhile, a Japanese chain restaurant Yoshinoya located in Changping district in Beijing was fined for 65,000 ($9,413.90) for having a cockroach into its food, and the fine was issued on Tuesday, Beijing-based media outlet Economic View reported, while the topic also went trending on Sina Weibo on Wednesday.  

A representative from Yoshinoya's Beijing company later responded to the Economic View that the company already made internal rectifications, adding that consumers can dine in stores with confidence.

The Beijing Daily reported that responsible authorities filed an investigation for three Blue Frog restaurants including the one in U-Town Mall after conducting the inspection and will take sample testing for the involved store.   

The hashtag" the Blue Frog restaurant is filed for investigation" was on trending of Sina Weibo, with more 26.95 million views as of press time.  

The Blue Frog brand operates 79 restaurants in China covering more than 20 major cities, according to its website. 

The State Administration for Market Regulation has been strengthening food supervision, with over 160,000 batches of products tested nationwide in 2022, according to People's Daily.