Invercargill restaurant admits to using meat 'not fit for human consumption'

A Chinese restaurant has admitted to using "pet food" in one of its meals.

A post to a community Facebook page on Tuesday showed a pile of boxes outside The Hong Kong restaurant in Invercargill - a box of chicken feet was labelled: "pet food only. Not fit for human consumption".

Horrified locals commented on the post calling it "disgusting" and "rank".

The owner of the restaurant says the chicken feet are used in a popular Chinese meal tuo gu ji zhua - which she only sells to customers who ask for it.

"In Invercargill there aren't too many Chinese shops, and they really want to have this and tell us to get them if we can," owner Lisa Wang told Otago Daily Times.

She explained, with the help of her daughter Sammi Li translating, that if the meat was not fit for human consumption, they wouldn't be selling it.

But this appears to contradict what Wang told the health inspector.

Invercargill City Council senior environmental health officer Ann Thompson visited the restaurant on Thursday.

Thompson was told the feet were not being sold, only consumed by the owners.

"We reminded the operator that as per their food plan, the only food that should be stored and prepared on site is food which is for sale to customers," she told Otago Daily Times.

Wang said she believed even if customers knew where the meat had come from, they would still eat it.

She says from now on she will only make the dish for her family and not customers.

Food which is labelled unfit for human consumption should not be sold, according to a New Zealand Food Safety spokesperson.

A person could choose to eat pet food themselves, but it's not recommended as it can make you sick.



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