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Mar. 13 (NBD) - China's quick service restaurant chain Country Style Cooking Restaurant Chain Co., Ltd (CSC) was reported a food scandal, which has aroused people's concerns about food safety.

A Chongqing citizen surnamed Wang, who ordered dinner from CSC via food delivery app Meituan at night, found that the food was the unsold one left from the noon. CSC staff responded soon after the matter is noticed by store managers.

Unsold food sold again at night

Wang told NBD that he ordered the value meals last Friday, but the beef slice he received was sticky and unfresh. He had no choice but to dump all his food after several bites and then posted negative reviews online.

Wang received a phone call from the aforementioned CSC store the second day which expressed sincere apologize, promised to refund him, and also pledged him to cancel those negative reviews.

NBD later confirmed the matter through calling the person-in-charge of this CSC store. He said the store recruited a batch of new employees after the spring festival and they were still not familiar with all the rules yet. The new staff sold the food left from noon as the night products, but this hasn't been noticed as the managers were having a meeting at that time.

The customer service staff of Meituan said to NBD that the platform has made it very clear that unsold food are forbidden for sale as the next meal.

He Jiguo, staff of College of Food Science & Nutritional Engineering, China Agricultural University told NBD that the leftovers should be kept in cold temperature and heated again before being consumed.

Known as a typical fast food restaurant that offers Chinese cuisines, CSC operates 304 CSC chain stores and 124 Mr Rice stores. CSC issued IPO on NewYork Stock Exchange in 2010 and delisted 6 years later.

In fact, it is noteworthy that the Chongqing-based flagship store has received many negative reviews on Meituan, such as "portion size is too small", "the food is cold", and even "this meal looks like leftovers.

Food safety concerns remain in the food delivery industry

Food safety concerns have been kept bothering Chinese consumers. In evening gala of 2016 World Consumer Rights Day held on 15th March in China, the leading food delivery platform Ele.me was exposed to guide restaurant owners to fabricate store sites and pictures. Moreover, some restaurants are running without an operating certificate and with bad sanitation condition.

The China Consumers Association (CCA) later talked with Ele.me and carried out investigations on that matter.

The food delivery industry in China has experienced 9 years of development since the founding of food delivery website Ele.me in 2009. However, food safety concerns still remain.

The online food ordering was among the ten most complained sectors in 2017, according to a report that jointly released by CCA and people.cn.

Online food delivery has been quickly received by young people as it is convenient and economical. However, problems exposed in the industry has drawn great attention, such as "food is made in a rented public toilet", "food has been eaten but spat back by the delivery man", and "delivery man revenged on those who post negative reviews".

To provide solutions for those problems, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) issued rules to regulate the food delivery industry since 2015.

The revised version of Food Safety Law of the People's Republic of China started taking effects in October 2015, which officially included online food ordering and delivery into its supervision. In October 2017, CFDA released documents introducing regulations on food safety of the online catering industry, which was in effect starting from January 1 of this year.

Zhu Wei noted that despite the improvement of laws, the regulations have to be strengthened. Once food safety issues occur, the credit of the related restaurant will be greatly battered. The platform on which the food is sold should punish such restaurant and keep customers well-informed.

Zhu Danpeng, a food industry commentator, said that food delivery industrial chain has seen fierce competition. The management system and supply chain of CSC are not that good at present. It is said that it is pursued by some capitals, but the price may be affected by its food issue, Zhu added.

 

Email: tanyuhan@nbd.com.cn