Date
17 October 2018
The customer filed a complaint after suspecting that 
she had been served fake rice, noting that the grains got elongated when she rubbed them. Photos: HKEJ, Facebook/Catherine Chan
The customer filed a complaint after suspecting that she had been served fake rice, noting that the grains got elongated when she rubbed them. Photos: HKEJ, Facebook/Catherine Chan

FEHD probes fake-rice complaint by restaurant customer

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) has launched an investigation after a consumer complained of being served fake rice at a branch of Tao Heung Restaurant in Mong Kok.

The customer posted on her Facebook page a video of the fried rice with eel she ordered from the restaurant. 

She said the texture of the rice was unusual, and when she tried to squeeze and rub the grain, it only got elongated, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

She was worried that the restaurant was using fake rice and called on the FEHD to collect samples for further examination.

An FEHD spokesperson said the department received the complaint on Sunday, and deployed personnel to take samples from the restaurant in question.

Meanwhile, a Tao Heung representative confirmed that the FEHD had launched an inquiry into the rice, adding that the restaurant is now tracking the supplier to obtain an explanation.

The spokesperson stressed that they only get rice from suppliers with solid reputation. 

It was learned that the restaurant’s supplier of pearl millet rice was Him Kee Food Distribution Co. Ltd., which is under the state-owned China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp.

Dr. Vicki Fong Lai-ying, a food safety lecturer at the Vocational Training Council, said the best way to test the authenticity of rice is to boil it as congee.

If the rice remains insoluble after a long period of being soaked in water, more tests have to be conducted before a conclusion could be arrived at, Fong said.

Eating or squeezing the rice grains is not enough to determine their authenticity, she said.

Foo Chee-fook, honorary chairperson of the Rice Merchants’ Association of Hong Kong Ltd., said the public should not draw conclusions about the authenticity of the rice just by watching the video clip, Headline Daily reported.

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