Popular rice noodle chain TamJai SamGor has become embroiled in a hygiene scandal after a member of staff was photographed chopping vegetables on top of a drain on the kitchen floor.

A spokesperson for TamJai SamGor confirmed the validity of the photos to Ming Pao and explained that the employee, usually responsible for cooking the noodles, had helped out with vegetable preparation since they were a few hands short. The employee did not understand proper procedure, they claimed.

The restaurant added that the drain pictured only handled waste water from the kitchen itself, and the staff member responsible had received a warning. The Wan Chai branch also had their monthly “hygiene bonus” deducted.

Exterior of TamJai SamGor branch at Energy Plaza, Tsim Sha Tsui East. Photo: Wikicommons.

Loyal customers interviewed by Ming Pao, however, were not given to change their eating habits in light of the revelations. One Ms Chan told the paper candidly that “considering the price, I expect it not to be too clean.”

According to Hong Kong’s Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, no complaints regarding the incident have been received, and within the past year the department has not received any complaints pertaining to TamJai SamGor.

Ryan Ho Kilpatrick

Ryan Ho Kilpatrick is an award-winning journalist and scholar from Hong Kong who has reported on the city’s politics, protests, and policing for The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, TIME, The Guardian, The Independent, and others