Taipei Polam Kopitiam (Xinyi branch) food poisoning

I read more reports, and saw that the offending shop also had a branch up on the second floor of Taipei Main Station. I have had their char kuei tiau there once. It was terrible. The kitchen and staff looked shockingly incompetent. It was so bad I never returned—THANK GOD.



Watching videos isn’t the only way to find out stuff. If you type “rice syndrome” into your browser, Google will correctly interpret it as “fried rice syndrome” and tell you what that is.

If you can’t be bothered, it’s a syndrome associated with fried rice.


You are playing with fire. It is a nasty bacteria that can take you out in an unpleasant way. Also, rice isn’t the only food it can grow, pasta is something that you want to consume as soon as possible too.

I learnt about it during my biology degree and since then I’m very careful with those foods. Refrigerate as soon as possible and eat them in 1-2 days max.

Winning the lottery is very improbable, and yet every day someone wins it.


Yep. We refrigerate it a bit faster after initially making the rice but we also reheat it more than once. Never got sick. Wish i never learned about fried rice syndrome because once you know, you know.


Back in the old country, my mom and most people I know would not allow not cooled off rice or any other cooked food in the fridge, as that would cause a breakdown of this expensive appliance - they said and believed because that’s what everyone said.

Currently I put hot stuff in the fridge, having learned about rice syndrome but I have lost at least two glass panels that way.

As to eating outside, yeah, it’s a gamble. But I kind of trust a bit more my neighborhood places than the food courts. First food poisoning I got here was from a fancy place so for me the price is not assurance of safety.


I never had food poisoning in Taiwan. Both time in my life I had it was in the states.

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Modern fridges are much better dealing with non-room temperature stuff. Although it’s still better to wait until the food has cooled down a bit. No need to put the rice in the fridge while it’s still boiling :sweat_smile:


I put the food in a pyrex. I put the pyrex in the fridge. When I come back and open the fridge doors… disaster. :cry:


So basically it’s suggested to avoid leftovers it sounds like.
I thought being refrigerated would be pretty safe considering how a remember people here would often leave food on the table all day long covered with one of those net covers.
And I know there’s this thing people always say here to never put hot food in the fridge.

I don’t know what is a pyrex, but the Greek etymology doesn’t play well with your fridge, that’s for sure.

That’s a big no-no, with any food. Same as refreezing.


No need to throw away good food. Just refrigerate it soon, do not reheat more than once, and consume it the day after or two (sometimes I risk it until the third day, but I try to avoid these situations).

People here also run red lights and carry babies on scooters…


El tuper en español de España.

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Just get some of those cheap cork pot holders so the glass doesn’t get hot.

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People here take doggie bags of food that has been on the table - and only the chefs know how long in the kitchen. Then they yet it in the fridge still in a plastic bag and reheat it when and if they remember they have it. Now that’s really waving a red cape to the odds bull.

My neighbors carried some chicken from a famous place down in Chiayi. Took it to Taipei by train. Gave me some. I would not feed that to a stray I tell you. Even though it was delicious hot from the kitchen at the restaurant, it ended up in the garbage bin. Not worth the risk after at least 4 or 5 hours at room temperature.


These people have been doing this their whole lives. They obviously don’t get sick from it often enough to make them change their ways. So is it possible that it’s not as dangerous or risky as everyone is making it out to be? Sound familiar?

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I’ve never had food poisoning in Taiwan. The only place I’ve ever had it was in France. I went with my family and I was the only one to order a soup and I was the only one that got sick. I’m guessing the soap wasn’t maintained at the proper temperature and was left to cool and reheated.

I’m not saying sanitation is an issue, but I suspect food poisoning is more common from improper storage of food.



My wife insists the same, always reheated left over rice since her childhood and never had an issue, generally not put in the fridge either. We agree to disagree on that one.

We do both definitely agree that nothing, absolutely nothing, gets reheated more than once though! Look it up, when you know you’ll never do it again!


If I read the articles correctly, the two deaths occurred after visits on different days to the restaurant. In that sense, I am not sure if it was due to leftover food once or some other reason like hygiene or supplies that were not so good.

Is there any update how many days and incidents are connected to this?

You think that’s bad? My wife’s mother will keep cooked pork (or chicken) in a pot overnight on the kitchen table. Then expects us to eat it the next day after recooking it. Yes, even during the summer months. I hear this method of storage-sans-refrigeration is not uncommon here. :face_vomiting:


But did you die?