A restaurant in Invercargill has admitted to using pet food as a component in one of its dishes. The owner of the Hong Kong Restaurant confirmed that pet food, marked ‘not for human consumption’, had been used as a part of its tuo gu ji zhua dish—a popular Chinese meal where the meat and skin of chicken feet are eaten.

Despite the initial shock factor, the owners said that the cultural dish was only for specific customers and that they had planned on making for themselves. They also said that if it weren’t edible for human consumption, they wouldn’t have been selling it.

What the operators told health officers, however, varied slightly. They said that the items labelled as ‘pet food’ were only for personal consumption and that they weren’t selling it. Upon further investigation, apart from the questionable ingredient choices, no other items were of concern for health officers. The operators of the restaurant were reminded that food not for sale or consumption should not be kept on the premises. Apart from the ‘pet food’ concern, no food safety complaints have been made over the last 12 months.