Stories like these are in the news here just about every day:
I brought this up with some Chinese people and got more than I wanted to hear.
It would seem that eating anything outside is a roulette shot at best.
All restaurants supposedly use horrid million-times reused oil. I have myself seen some oil deliveries, and it was a nasty-looking black semi-liquid in filthy repurposed plastic barrels.
I worked at Arthur Treachers' back in the States, and even there we'd change the oil like once a month (just kept adding). Granted, the owner was a Korean cheapskate, and a Jehovah's Witness to boot.
I heard that some of the restaurants supposedly use grease that poor people scoop up floating in gutters. One guy said that he'd seen one of these specialists going at it with his scoop.
Fruit (bananas, melons, among others) being picked unripened, then injected with chemicals to make them look ripe, but not go bad as fast as they normally would.
Same with meat, full of chemicals to keep it from going bad. Not hard to believe; a lot of restaurants keep a lot of their food outside fridges, and very few seem to have freezers.
Rice bleached and scented with more poisonous goodies.
And my beloved huoguo. Heard this from people including former staff – the "tang" they pour into the hotpot is laced with chemicals so bad they make the brain-lesion-inducing MSG look like Wild Oats' organic GojiBerry juice.
Share your stories. What have you heard, what do you believe, what do you do or not do, eat or not eat in this land of omnipresent chemicals.
Haha, the top ad banner on those China Daily articles is from ChemChina, their proud slogan being "Life needs Chemicals".
Talk about synergy.
If you're in advertising, go drink a guo-ful of hotpot tang right now.