• Foreword: In Australia, it is not only the Chinese who love Chinese food
  • It’s always a Chinese restaurant?
  • Invisible dangers in Chinese food
  • Conclusion
Foreword: In Australia, it is not only the Chinese who love Chinese food

From the moment the first Chinese immigrants arrived in Australia, Chinese food has never left this southern hemisphere.

The author of "A Brief History of Australian Food", Jan O'Connell, said that Chinese food first appeared in Australia and can actually be traced back to the first wave of Chinese immigrants in the 19s:

At that time, many Chinese chose to work in some kitchens at the gold mine and provided meals for the workers at the gold mine.

"During the gold rush in Victoria, many such Chinese kitchens emerged. Later, during the gold rush in Queensland and Western Australia, there were similar phenomena." O'Connell added, "The Chinese food they made actually catered to China. People and European tastes."

In fact, as Chinese restaurants gradually take root in Australia, people who love the unique taste mixed with oil, salt, sauce and vinegar are not limited to Chinese compatriots with yellow skin and dark eyes.

Historian Barbara Nichol once mentioned in the "Sweet and Sour" podcast of the National Library of Australia, "Soon, those'bohemian' Australians who pursue fashion and workers who need to eat late at night We all start to appreciate Chinese food."

She pointed out that “since the beginning of the last century, the rising intellectuals in major cities in Australia, including artists, writers, and later the university community, have all started to explore Chinatown.”

But today, unlike the past, the Chinese restaurants in these cities are no longer limited to Chinatowns—even in almost every remote suburb of Australia, you can find more than one.

Whether it's the crystal shrimp dumplings of Cantonese morning tea or the sweet and sour pork tenderloin of the fast food window, there is no doubt about the popularity of Chinese food in Australia.

However, many Chinese restaurants seem to be a bit "unaccustomed" after they came to Australia, so they are often spotted by the radar of the local health and safety bureau and the spotlight of the media.


It’s always a Chinese restaurant?

The most frequently exposed Chinese restaurants in Australia are the hygiene standards of the back kitchen and food handling issues.

For example, the Elanora Chinese restaurant in northern Sydney was fined 5 fines totaling A$7 in just 3080 months last year. The "countries" included failure to eradicate pests and improperly storing food.

Elanora Chinese Restaurant

Also famous on the list is the Avalon Chinese restaurant not far away. Last year, the restaurant received nine penalties for dirty kitchen environment and pests, with a total fine of 9 Australian dollars.

Avalon Chinese Restaurant

For example, the Xinglonghua Roast Restaurant in Auburn received 6 fines totaling A$5 in June last year. The fine items included failure to deal with pests in time and irregularities in the safety and hygiene of the back kitchen-which had already been warned. Under the premise.

Xinglonghua Roast Restaurant

...There are countless examples of this.

In Australia, the local health bureau has strict requirements on the temperature of refrigerators and water, the order of placing vegetables, meat, seafood, and even the storage of cooking utensils and detergents, and restaurants must also purchase goods in places approved by the health bureau . In fact, many Chinese restaurants have been punished for sanitary problems for a long time.

So why do these Chinese bosses take risks and opportunistic, but turn a deaf ear to the strict standards and even warnings of the Health Bureau?

This has to start with a once-popular Australian business immigration visa for SME owners.

Unlike the high threshold of "five million immigrants", this 2003 visa, launched in 163, has neither English requirements nor academic qualifications. The annual turnover can be more than 40 Australian dollars, and it can realize "one person application" , Family immigration".

Therefore, in recent years, many small Chinese bosses have bought Chinese restaurants or cafes across Australia and used them for investment immigration. However, because many people lack business experience, are not familiar with Australian safety standards, and even have a worrying level of English, the operation of restaurants is often a disaster.

Ali (a pseudonym), an Indian helper who has worked in a Chinese restaurant, told “Australian Financial Insights” in an interview, “People from the city hall have been here several times, and I don’t know if the owner and the chef understand it. There is still no thermometer in the kitchen, no disposable paper towels, and there are cut meat left over from the chef who was fired last week in the refrigerator, and the boss is reluctant to throw it away."

He recalled the scene that shocked him the most at that time, "I was about to serve the dishes to the guests once, and she suddenly stopped me and said that the dish was too much meat, so she grabbed a piece of beef with her hands - yes. , With hands, without gloves."

Ali added that he has worked in this restaurant for a month. Although the salary received is after-tax amount, he has never received a taxed salary statement (Payslip). Even due to the obstacles in understanding the English accent of both parties, his later negotiations with the restaurant owner became a farce:

"I asked her about the salary details and how the extra salary for overtime work is settled. I even told her that I can go to the fairness committee to sue her. But she just kept saying, OK, OK, we are Friend." He said dubiously.

of course,It's not just Chinese restaurants that have hygiene problems.

In fact, on the website of the Food Safety Authority of New South Wales, there are a total of 1447 information and details of restaurants that have received penalties since June 2017.

Australian food safety expert Gavin Buckett pointed out that food safety is not unique to Chinese restaurants, but a problem that all catering companies need to pay special attention to and urgently solve.

"I don't know how many Chinese, Indian, Pakistani or other restaurants are there."

He added, “In my time, I did see some terrible things, but this is not specific to people from a certain country or a certain food industry. You may find that a restaurant of a certain cuisine is very Good, but there will be some not so good. I have been engaged in food safety work for nearly ten years, but I have not found any special circumstances for a certain cuisine."

In fact, food safety issues are far more complicated than we have seen. Even if the kitchen and refrigerator behind "that wall" are so insightful, there may still be many invisible dangers.


Invisible dangers in Chinese food

来源:Simon Letch

According to the Australian Food Safety Information Commission, there are approximately 530 million food poisonings in Australia each year, three-quarters of which occur in restaurants.

Some of them have eaten allergens such as peanuts and sesame seeds, some may have eaten inferior or expired ingredients, and some may have eaten food stored in violation of standards...

Even MSG.

In Western countries, this artificial additive is considered to be the culprit of a series of adverse reactions-headache, sweating, blushing, numbness of the face and neck, palpitations, nausea, chest pain and insomnia, collectively referred to as "Chinese restaurant syndrome."

In addition, some traditional cooking habits of Chinese food can easily cause food poisoning.

Food microbiologist Cathy Moir pointed out that fried rice is a common culprit, and this kind of food poisoning was especially high in Australia in the 70s.

She explained, “Chinese restaurants will cook the rice the day before, put the rice outside, and stir-fry the next day. Therefore, it has been there for a whole day, and the bacillus in it has germinated, grown, and Produce toxins."

Contrary to the idea that many people take it for granted that high temperature can kill bacteria, “the toxins are not destroyed when the rice is fried. After the customers eat it, food poisoning breaks out.”

She added, “As the health authorities have identified the cause and educates restaurant owners, the incidence of this type of food poisoning has now decreased significantly.”