Tasting ban for upcoming Food Expo sparks disagreements

Visitors to this year’s Food Expo will not be able to remove their masks nor taste food samples at the venue - in line with pandemic restrictions - causing concern amongst industry veterans that it may discourage some exhibitors from joining.

The industry is urging the authorities to reconsider the policy.

The restrictions, supported by the Trade Development Council, are a step up from last year’s guidelines, where food tasting was allowed in specific areas.

Previously, visitors could be granted access to the so-called tasting area if they showed proof of vaccination and scanned the “Leave Home Safe” app.

Simon Wong Ka-wo, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades, stated that not allowing food tasting would negatively affect the business of exhibitors, potentially discouraging them from joining.

He urged the Council to reconsider its policy. Contrastingly, he proposed that the Food Expo follow pandemic prevention measures currently enforced in ordinary restaurants, such as limiting the number of visitors to the venue.

The annual food event will be held at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre starting next Thursday.

The tasting ban policy raised eyebrows as the Hong Kong Sevens, an upcoming Rugby tournament in November, seems exempt from similar restrictions—spectators of the competition will be allowed to consume alcohol within their seats.
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