Hot pot restaurant must pay $8,400 over advertising

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Tripod King, a well-known restaurant in Taiwan, was fined by the government yesterday for false advertising.

The hot pot restaurant claims that its stock was made by mixing up to 32 Chinese herbal ingredients. However, Tainan City Deputy Mayor Tsai Ping-kun said in a conference yesterday that the claim was groundless. The Tainan City Government fined the restaurant for NT$200,000 (S$8,400) yesterday, according to Article 28 in the Act Governing Food Sanitation.

The restaurant has confessed that its menu that boasts the 32 herbal ingredients was "untruthful" and "exaggerating." The government has requested that Tripod King update its menu and stop misleading customers. If the restaurant fails to comply, it will be fined for each violation in the future, Tsai said.

According to a local news source, the restaurant's stock was made with 10 different kinds of powders including sodium glutamate and bone powders - a far cry from the restaurant's advertisement.

The Health Bureau of Taichung City has collected Tripod King's stock sample for testing, the result of which will be produced in five to seven days.

If the stock is found to contain heavy metals or other harmful elements, the restaurant will receive further penalties, the government said.

Government officials suggest that customers who have dined at the restaurant keep their receipts, which may be used to obtain compensation in the future.