‘Treated like livestock’: Kindergarten in China caught washing children’s plates in urinal suspended and probed after outcry

The mother, who took the video, said after witnessing the disturbing scene she instantly transferred her child to another kindergarten. Recently, a college in southeastern China has been in the headlines after a student found a mouse head in a dish served at the school’s canteen. — SCMP

A kindergarten in China caught washing children’s dishes in a urinal trough has been closed for investigation after a video was shared online by a parent triggering public outcry.

The video posted on June 7 showed a staff member at the Sunshine Kindergarten in Jiangxi province, southeastern China, squatting down at a urinal trough while using a hose to wash plates used to serve children, The Paper reported.

Local municipal authorities responded to the public backlash by announcing a joint investigation between the education department and the market supervision bureau, which regulates food safety and hygiene matters.

According to a statement released by the investigation team, the kindergarten has been shut down temporarily for an “overhaul” while its managers and the worker in the video are under investigation.

Local authorities say the school remains closed while a probe is conducted with management and the worker in the video being investigated. Photo: Douyin

After witnessing the disturbing scene, the mother who took the video said she instantly transferred her child to another kindergarten.

The urinal-washing-up video has caused shock and condemnation in China, with more than 50,000 angry comments made online at the time of writing.

One person said: “The children are so loved by their parents at home but treated like livestock at the kindergarten.”

Another person said: “Is this the behaviour of a human being? Is she a teacher? Such a kindergarten should be punished severely and closed forever.”

A third person commented: “This kindergarten has poor management, and its staff don’t have any morals.”

Despite crackdowns in recent years to raise food safety standards in schools, hygiene scandals remain common in China. Photo: Shutterstock

Food safety scares in China’s schools and universities are common and are often exposed by domestic media.

In 2021, a kindergarten in eastern China’s Anhui province was caught feeding rotten food to children when suspicious parents did a surprise inspection after numerous children came home with diarrhoea.

Another Anhui kindergarten was caught in 2018 serving rotten chicken eggs and mouldy rice after children wound up in hospital with food poisoning.

For the past few weeks, a college in southeastern China has been in the headlines after a student found a mouse head in a dish served at the school’s canteen, which management claimed was a piece of duck neck. The provincial government announced an investigation in response to public scepticism over the explanation. – South China Morning Post

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