Mainland Chinese media reported recently that an employee at a Yong He Soy Milk restaurant in Zhejiang province was found bent over mixing the soy milk in a giant wok with bare hand. The video clip caused an uproar when it was released online. The local supervisory body said the restaurant had been closed down and an investigation carried out immediately.
Netizens were highly critical after watching the video. "Where are their business ethics?" "Isn't it nauseating to mix soy milk by hand?" "People who have dined there before will throw up after seeing such a scene!"
But is this problem that bad? Isn't it more a thing of the mind?
Soy milk must be cooked once it is mixed. Soy milk that hasn't been boiled is poisonous and therefore not edible. Besides, some food has to be handled: dumplings, steamed buns, siu mai and green onion cakes are either wrapped or rolled out by hand. Isn't ramen also made by hand, hence the literary translation "hand-pulled noodles"?
Does handled food pose a threat even after it's been thoroughly cooked?
In addition, aren't barbecue pork, roast chicken or geese and Iberian ham handled as well? Aren't sashimi and watermelon cut by hand and then served right away without heating up? Do you know that some people use their bare feet as part of the process to make soy sauce, dried radish and high-priced pickles? Do you know how stinky tofu is made, how rice is dried and how kimchi is prepared?
Something else are far more serious. Do you know how many people never wash their hands before meals or after using the toilet? Do you know how dirty ties and purses can be and yet how many men ever dry-clean their pricy ties and how many women ever sterilise their brand-named purses?
15 July, 2019