Chinese district regulator inspects Pizza Hut stores over food safety issues

Chinese district regulator inspects Pizza Hut stores over food safety issues
FILE PHOTO: A Pizza Hut restaurant is seen in a mall in Shanghai, China Sept 18, 2018. (Photo: Reuters/Aly Song)

BEIJING: A Chinese district regulator said it is carrying out inspections of 45 Pizza Hut stores in Beijing after one was accused by the media of food safety breaches.

The market regulator of Beijing’s Haidian district said late on Wednesday (Jul 20) that it had visited the branch in question and looked at records of food materials purchases, storage and expiry dates.

The chain run by Yum China came under scrutiny earlier this week after the Beijing News reported two of its stores in Beijing, including the one in the Haidian district, allegedly had fake expiration dates on products and had reused cooking oil over 10 days.

Pizza Hut said it had suspended the operation of the two outlets and was carrying out its own probe.

“We attach great importance to the issues reported by the media,” it said on its Weibo account on Wednesday. It declined to provide further comment.

The inspections come months after another Pizza Hut branch in Beijing was fined 50,000 yuan (US$7,394) by Fengtai district market authorities for using expired food materials. Pizza Hut has more than 2,600 stores in China.

Chinese consumers and media have become increasingly sensitive about consumer rights and food safety after a series of scandals, and keep a close eye on the behaviour of big brands, especially those from abroad.

Market regulators in eight Chinese cities carried out inspections of Starbucks shops after the US coffee chain said in December it had found food safety issues at two outlets.

Source: Reuters/yb