A milk tea shop in Beijing has been shut down for investigation after a local television reporter went undercover to work as a staff member and discovered some of the horrifying practices that were in place at the store.
In video filmed secretly, the reporter found employees using rotten fruit to make drinks for customers. Workers can be seen cutting fruits without washing her hands after handling rubbish or using their cell phone.
The reporter was instructed to use mango that had obviously gone bad to make drinks even though it was already off-color and mushy.
“Put it in the fridge to get rid of the smell,” a colleague told her, “and mix it with the good one.” That there was only ONE good mango didn’t seem to be a problem.
In another part of the video, rotten bananas were also used for drinks.
Drinks marked as fresh fruit juice were all diluted with water. Fruit such as watermelons and kiwi were kept in the fridge for days and sold to customers.
One worker at the shop felt bad that she was giving fruit that had gone bad to a child. “I was going to swap it out with good fruit, but the shop manager made me use the bad one instead.”
“It doesn’t sit well with my conscience,” she said. “I feel evil.”
“I used to like milk tea,” she added. “Now give it to me free and I won’t drink it.”
Local authorities said they were now investigating all 33 outlets of the chain.
In a statement posted by the Hangzhou headquarters of Tealand on their website, the company admitted their mistake and apologized, saying that they will cooperate with the investigation and accept punishment.