I got caught while urinating in beer… China’s Tsingtao Beer caught up in ‘hygiene controversy’

Local media, including the Hongseong Newspaper, reported on the 21st that controversy is rising after a video of urinating on raw materials from the Tsingtao Beer production plant, which boasts 120 years of history and one of China’s four major beers, was exposed. In relation to this, the domestic importer drew a line that the products produced at the factory in question had nothing to do with Korean use.

Beer K, an importer of Tsingtao beer, issued a statement on the 21st and said, “After checking with Tsingtao Beer headquarters, Tsingtao beer is manufactured in a separate factory for domestic consumption and export, and the third factory (in the video) only produces beer for domestic consumption. “It was confirmed,” he said.

At the same time, he explained, “All Qingdao products that Beer K is currently importing are unrelated to the factory.”

Previously, on the 19th, a video was released on Weibo (Chinese version of Twitter) of a man wearing a helmet and work clothes at the Qingdao 3 factory in Pingdu, Shandong Province, appearing to enter a storage area for malt, a raw material for beer, and urinate. The video showed him climbing over a shoulder-high wall that was exposed on all sides, entering a place where raw materials were piled up, and then urinating while looking around.

The hashtag related to this video received attention as it rose to the top of real-time search terms on Weibo on the 20th, and consumers complained.

Netizens were outraged, saying, “The reputation and trust of Tsingtao Beer has been cracked and consumers’ anxiety about all food products has been amplified. The truth must be investigated, those involved must be severely punished, and measures to prevent recurrence must be established.”

As doubts about Tsingtao Beer’s poor product management먹튀검증 grow, the company is in a position to take a significant hit, including a damaged image and a decline in sales.

The factory said, “We are investigating the truth,” but left open the possibility of manipulation, saying, “The image quality is poor, so it is difficult to determine the truth through video alone. These days, video-related technology is excellent.”

The Pingdu City Market Supervision Bureau, which has jurisdiction over the factory, said, “We have formed an investigation team and started the investigation, and all raw materials from the related factory have been sealed. If the facts are found to be true, we will be severely punished in accordance with the law.”

As the controversy grew, local public security also began an investigation.

Tsingtao Beer Factory 3, located in Pingdu, a county-level city of Qingdao, has grown to a global scale by increasing annual beer production from 750,000 kiloliters (㎘) in 2018 to 1.2 million ㎘ last year through continuous expansion.

Tsingtao Beer, founded in 1903 by Germans and Britishers in Tsingtao, then a German military colony, is considered one of China’s four major beers along with Xuehua, Yanjing, and Harbin beers.

Comedian Jeong Sang-hoon appeared in an advertisement and popularized the phrase ‘lamb skewers and Tsingtao’, which is now familiar to domestic consumers.

In 2008, China experienced a ‘melamine crisis’ in which at least six infants died and 300,000 people suffered damage when powdered milk containing melamine, a chemical harmful to humans, was distributed.

Also, in 2020, a famous hotpot restaurant in Sichuan was caught extracting and reusing the so-called ‘Cooking Water Cooking Oil’ by collecting the leftover hotpot and leftovers from customers, adding seasonings, etc., and boiling them. Recently, a food-related incident such as a rat’s head was found in food at a university cafeteria. Incidents continue to occur.


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