"I'm a bit sad...no more milk tea on my way back," lamented East China Normal University (ECNU) graduate student Edwin Tang after a branch of popular milk tea chain Yi Dian Dian suspended operations this week due to a cockroach scandal.
According to Shine, the scandal first unfolded on November 11, when a customer ordered a black Macchiato tea from an outlet near ECNU through the food delivery site ele.me. The customer claimed to have found a cockroach in their cup after finishing half of the drink.
The customer said it was "extremely disgusting," posted pictures online depicting the tea with the cockroach and demanded RMB50,000 in compensation.
The customer also took to WeChat to post screenshots of a conversation with the shop's operations manager after being refused compensation.
As a result, Yi Dian Dian's Jingshajiang Lu branch has been closed since Tuesday this week while the Putuo District Market Supervision and Management Bureau conducts inspections.
But authorities noted that they did not find signs of cockroaches at the scene. While they didn't confirm whether the cockroach allegations were true, they said they ordered the branch to shutdown temporarily as a safety precaution, and required the shop to rectify the situation.
Yi Dian Dian closes down on Jinshajiang Lu
The Yi Dian Dian on Jinshajiang Lu is very popular with both local and international college students due to its close location to ECNU, and is often bustling with young people. Unsurprisingly, students are upset about the shutdown.
"I feel sad that I cannot trust them any more," Xinying Gao, a local first year student, told That's Shanghai. "I won’t drink Yi Dian Dian again before they take action to improve their food safety. I may choose another bubble tea brand."
"I was a bit sad about the shut down," said Theresa Eusebio, an international student. "But it makes me squeamish when I think about bugs, especially cockroaches in my bubble tea."
While Yi Dian Dian stated that they regularly conduct pest checks through an agreement with professional pest termination businesses, the bureau ordered the shop to improve its hygiene management.
Bye bye, Yi Dian Dian?
"I'm mostly shocked to see something like this, and for the most part I do go with my friends here," commented Christian Tang, another international student. "But I feel it is reasonable to close Yi Dian Dian in order to better reevaluate their own consumer base and invoke more reasonable but stricter health standards."
Another Yi Dian Dian complaint was filed earlier this month as well in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province. In that instance, a different customer bought a black tea latte only to find a cockroach. According to the customer, "no solution was offered."
[Photos via Christian Tang]