Border Ecologies : Food safety

By Kevin Sin July 26, 2018 Edition CHIC 2017-2018Discover Flowlin project

Hello everyone, for this border ecology, let’s talk a bit about the food safety around this two wonderful lands.

The first thing you have to know when you go to China is that the water is not drinkable. You have to buy some bottle in a shop or ask the hotel to give it. Every morning in the Marco Polo hotel the cleaning lady put some bottle in the room and we felt free to ask in the reception if we wanted more.

It is the same in Hong Kong but as we stay in the university, there is some water funtain where we can fill our bottle.

As unexpected, there was a lot of Chinese food in China. The main obstacle to order what you want is the language. Not much card are in english so we often order with the pictures or we just order something by hasard. As you know, often the plate doesn’t look like the picture. We are always surprised when the plates come, some times good, sometimes bad. But most of the time it taste good. Just have to be careful about the spicy meal. Chinese like to eat really hot.

We found a lot of street food but look a bit dirty and sometimes with the flies around so personally I never try it. We found also some really cheap restaurant where we could eat some rice, noodle, little and fast Chinese meal like that for only 3 CHF. On the other side, we can find some high ranked restaurants. As we visited Huawei, they served us the lunch and was really big and so tasty.

Of course there stand a lot of special restaurants like Italian, Indian, American (burger) and also some big famous names such as McDonalds, Burger King, KFC…

We noticed that Shenzhen has a food safety inspection notification. The score of the inspection give on of the three results: “fail”, “pass”, and excellent. Unfortunately, when we noticed for the first time those safety notifications, we found out that our restaurant received a bad grade. Later then, we found that most restaurants we went had the red smiley as result which corresponds to “fail”.

We only saw once the yellow smiley which corresponds to pass and the restaurant seemed really clean. At the hotel we felt very lucky because the place where we were having breakfast had a “excellent” score.

Hopefully most of the meals were always well-cooked, for this reason we (at least Kevin) were not worrying too much about any further complication. Once we even try to eat sashimi in a Japanese restaurant and nobody of the group had any problem with the food.

Concerning Hong Kong, we did not find any food safety notification. The food culture is more international. The menu is almost always in english and much people speak english. The Chinese restaurants are more uncommon in the center but stand much around. As I was a bit tired of Chinese food, Hong Kong offered me the opportunity to change my food habits.