et another mega-scandal has broken out in the cafeteria of a Chinese private school with parents discovering a kitchen stocked with disgustingly rotten food and moldy meats.
The parents were clued into potential problems with the fare on offer at the Chengdu No 7 High School Development School when their children started coming down with various ailments including difficulty breathing, stomach pains, constipation, and diarrhea.
An impromptu visit to the school’s kitchen confirmed their suspicions, turning up bread, meat, and seafood covered in mold. Soon stomach-churning images of the food were posted online, going viral and sparking protests.
Videos shared online show hundreds of parents storming the gates of the school and clashing with police. Some parents were wrestled to the ground and arrested. Police also appear to have used pepper spray on the protesting parents.
— 良知传媒 (@LiangzhiMedia) March 13, 2019
In response to the scandal, the local government of Wenjiang district has announced a probe into the matter, vowing that those responsible for the cafeteria’s mismanagement will be severely dealt with. Previously, the cafeteria had been named a “model student canteen.”
Meanwhile, the school itself has publicly apologized to parents and students, taking the blame for failing to properly supervise its food supplier, a logistics and catering company called Sichuan Deyu, adding that it had terminated its contract with the company.
However, Sichuan Deyu reportedly provided food not only to Chengdu No 7 High School Development School but to dozens of other schools and companies in the area, potentially affecting tens of thousands of people. The company’s website has gone offline and its operations suspended.
Nothing gets China’s middle class more up in arms than food, drug, and health safety scandals involving children, particularly well-off kids in the country’s top urban centers. Last October, parents discovered moldy tomatoes and expired seasonings inside the kitchen of an expensive Shanghai private school, leading to city-wide food safety inspections and the principal being sacked.