A store selling hot meals and drinks to hikers on MacLehose Trail has been ordered by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) to stop offering cooked food, hk01.com reports.
A Facebook post announcing the ban, apparently imposed on hygiene and food safety concerns, attracted more than 1,200 “angry face” emojis within a day, with hikers raising the possibility that other kiosks along the trail would also be prohibited from selling cooked food.
The store, popularly known as Hang Yick, has been operating over the past 57 years at the intersection of MacLehose Trail Section 5 and Wilson Trail Section 5.
It sold beef brisket rice and home-made tofu pudding dessert, which were very popular among hikers.
Reacting to the Facebook post, lawmaker Roy Kwong Chun-yu, who is also a member of the Tsuen Wan District Council, offered to help the store to continue operating.
A veteran hiker surnamed Choi said the store has been of great help to long-distance hikers who wanted to load up on food.
Another hiker surnamed Lee said he had tried a tofu pudding being sold at the store, but he supported the FEHD decision, noting that food safety should never be compromised.
The store owner, surnamed Wong, said the FEHD was acting on a complaint filed six months ago about the store selling food without a license, according to website topick.com.
Wong said his father started the business in 1960 and had a license to sell water, soft drinks and packaged snacks.
Meanwhile, a refreshment kiosk in Tai Mo Shan, which is also patronized by hikers, was set to secure a license to sell cooked food after operating for 22 years.
It was learned that the store had been unable to get a license because it did not have a water meter and failed to meet requirements for sewage discharge.
Tiny Tai Mo Shan kiosk to get license after 22 years in business (May 24, 2017)
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