CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

Japanese restaurant trapped in scandal

08-03-2011 21:10 BJT

Watch Video

Play Video

A food scandal once again rockets public trust. This time, it is Ajisen Ramen, a well-known Japanese noodle chain which has been making the headlines after it appears they lied about the ingredients in one of their famous dishes.

The restaurant claims its noodle soup was prepared by boiling pork bones for up to 20 hours. This was proven false by the Shanghai Municipal Food and Drug Supervision Administration. The authorities say the noodle soup is made with a concentrated solution diluted into water.

Ajisen Ramen entered the Chinese market in 1997. It expanded rapidly across the country and by August 2011, the company operated 588 chains in China. Customers who often dine there are familiar with their advertisement: noodles with soup cooked for 20 hours, rich in calcium 4 times that of milk and 10 times that of ordinary meat dishes. When the Food and Drug Supervision Administration in Shanghai uncovered the truth, the restaurant was forced to admit it had lied. The restaurant's business was immediately affected by the scandal with fewer customers in the following days.

The restaurant claims its noodle soup was prepared by boiling pork
bones for up to 20 hours.

Guangzhou resident Ms Wang said, "They've lied to us. If the business is to last long, the owners must be honest to their customers. In terms of food safety, I don't think we have sound regulations."

Ajisen once claimed the impressive nutritional content of their noodle soup was tested and certified in 2006 by the College of Food Science at the Chinese Agricultural University. This puts the university in the spotlight, forcing them to explain themselves.

Fan Zhihong, associate professor of China Agricultural University, said, "What we received for testing was a bag of sauce. It was made by concentrated pork bones. We published our results based on what we found in the sauce. We never knew the results we presented concerned a solution which would later be diluted 36 times. It is very wrong for them to misuse the data we provided."

Ajisen's claims to have made an honest mistake but this PR strategy doesn't seem to be paying off. Consecutive scandals have injured not only their customer's trust but also investors' confidence in the brand. The same quality watchdog says the restaurant was already fined 780 thousand yuan in May 2010 for adding a prohibited sweetener. On the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where Ajisen listed in 2007, the company has seen its share price drop 25% due to this scandal and it may take a long time for the brand to regain the trust of Chinese customers.

Related:

Credibility crisis sweeps int'l brands in China

The scandal surrounding Ajisen Ramen is just one that's broken out in recent days. Foreign brands are coming under increasing scrutiny for their poor record this year in China. Full Story>>

Studio interview: Reasons behind credibility crisis

Foreign brands have long been seen as synonymous with good quality and service by Chinese consumers, as they are supposed to have strict quality management. Why are they seeing these problems? Full Story>>

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: CNTV.CN

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program