China’s restaurant scandals have become like crap in a broken toilet; piling up daily and all anyone does is cover each new layer with toilet paper, hoping it’ll be forgotten while the faulty system never gets fixed. But salvation may come (we hope) with the introduction of White Lily, a hygiene assessment system aiming to enhance food safety standards throughout China’s food service industry.
The project was jointly developed by the US Sealed Air Corporation and the China Cuisine Organization to tackle hygiene issues at every level of the industry from storage to equipment to dining space, as well as cut back on food waste. The measure’s already in effect at several chains in Beijing, including Dadong Roast Duck, and recent food safety offender, Yoshinoya, with each bearing a White Lily logo (which sounds like a female assassin’s emblem in a badly-dubbed kung fu flick, but I digress). To ensure standards are being maintained, a White Lily assessment team will review the restaurants every six months.
White Lily has seen success in Turkey, Poland, and other countries, but we don’t want to count our drugged-up, H7N9 chickens before they hatch. As much as we hope operation White Lily will be like a controlled burn eradicating all the food safety dead wood, China’s a whole different animal. And we’ve heard enough false promises about revamping the food service system to be more than a bit skeptical.
At the very least, can we replace that “smiley/frowny face” food safety system, which seems as arbitrary as backpack stickers.