In 2013, some restaurants in Japan have been linked to food scam. Their menu has deceived the diners and lied about their profit.
Hankyu Hanshin Hotels Co. disclosed that dozens of its restaurants misrepresented the food on their menus. The “revelations” that emerged affected several other establishments around the nation that did the same thing.
The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Osaka, another famous hotel, along with the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel in Hokkaido also admitted in using some ingredients and products that are cheaper and low quality. They did not use the premium items to cook the meals advertised on their menus. Another prestigious accommodation, the Imperial Hotel Ltd., admitted they had served frozen juice that was labelled as “fresh” at the restaurants in their Tokyo and Osaka branches.
According to the Renaissance Sapporo General Manager Hiroshi Harata, they call the big prawns as Japanese tiger and the small ones as ‘shiba’ shrimp. In reality, the hotel was using cheap shrimp at its Chinese restaurant. It is far different from the shrimp they had listed on their menu.
The Imperial Hotel admitted that they had served orange and grapefruit juices from May 2006 until May 2007. They disclosed that the freshly squeezed juice was procured in frozen form from a Tokyo supplier. Due to controversy, the hotel now serves their “fresh” juices using freshly squeezed fruits.
The high-end restaurants in luxury hotels often promote their sophisticated services, along with the quality of their food products. However, their air of exclusivity may not match the costs in the kitchen. The government has imposed the regulations on food labelling. The directive also includes the posting the origin of the products for the items sold in their shops. However, the regulations of the government do not apply to restaurant menus.
The food fraud cases in Japan fall under the scope of a general law. The Consumers Affairs Agency studies about the cases. It is linked to the competition policy law that prevents all types of businesses from mislabelling their products. The credibility of the restaurant menus can only be left in the hands of those who run the food business.
The menu serves as one of the promotional materials of the restaurants. It entices the diners because it depicts the ingredients they use to cook their meals. However, this is false advertising which has also surfaced at other restaurants in Japan. The Shikoku Railway Co. subsidiary in Tokushima and Ehime prefectures, as well as the hotels in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, and Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, admitted that they have also fooled the people using their menu.
Food labelling can easily be confused with upscale products that are regulated by the Agricultural Standards Law. The sad thing is, a lot of restaurants think they are above the law. They are also above the new food labelling law that includes the Agricultural Standards Law. According to the government, they restaurants are unregulated which empowers them to trick the customers with their menu scam.
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