Chinese hotpot chain Haidilao has its operations at it Clarke Quay branch suspended by the National Environment Agency (NEA) due to unsanitary food handling practices. According to The Straits Times, the restaurant has been closed since Saturday.
In a statement to Marketing, Wang Jinping, Haidilao Singapore general manager, confirmed that the restaurant was suspended after two NEA inspections conducted in August and September. This included slicing food without gloves on and having food not pass NEA’s hygiene tests. This resulted in the awarding of a total of 12 demerit points during a 12-month period which led to the restaurant’s licence being suspended and being fined SG$800.
The statement added that after the first incident in August, Haidilao had commissioned two food safety checks by independent organisations and made its food-handlers undergo retraining. This was conducted along with NEA’s guidelines.
Moving forward, Wang explained in the ST report that the outlet will take the time during the suspension to renovate and enhance its Clark Quay branch before re-opening in April. He said that the restaurant promises to put food hygiene and safety first in all of its outlets worldwide and provide better customer service.
Marketing has reached out to NEA for comment.
Haidilao is well-known for customer service initiatives such as free massages and manicures for customers waiting for a table. During the dining experience, customers are also given warm towels and aprons to shield their clothing, according to ST.
Haidilao is currently managed by Sichuan Haidilao Catering Co., which was founded in 1994. The company has seven restaurants distribution points in Singapore, USA, South Korea and Japan, along with 137 restaurants in China. The restaurant serves mainly Sichuan style hotpot while mixing other styles of hot pot.