A well-known beer label has set in motion an inquiry following a rather unorthodox incident at its factory.
An unidentified individual, garbed in a hard hat and azure work attire, was caught on camera descending into a malt reservoir within Tsingtao's Pingdu-based factory in China.
In a rather distasteful video, the individual proceeded to unzip his trousers and urinate directly into the container, presumed to be housing the beer's raw ingredients.
Tsingtao, the second-largest beer manufacturer in China, has taken swift action by isolating all batches potentially affected by this peculiar occurrence. In a formal statement, the company expressed its response to the matter.
"Our company attaches high importance to the relevant video that emerged from Tsingtao Brewery No. 3 on 19 October."
"We reported the incident to the police at the earliest opportunity, and public security organizations are involved in the investigation."
"At present, the batch of malt in question has been completely sealed. The company continues to strengthen its management procedures and ensure product quality."
Insiders familiar with the matter, as reported by the local Yicai outlet, have alleged that the individual captured in the video is not an employee of Tsingtao but rather a laborer hired through a third-party staffing agency.
Nonetheless, this peculiar incident has left a dent in the reputation of the world's sixth-largest beer producer.
On Friday, shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange took a one percent dip, and this decline continued on Monday, with a substantial drop of 7.5 percent on October 23.
The video in question gained swift and widespread attention after being shared on Weibo on Thursday, October 19. As one might expect, it left many viewers deeply disturbed, prompting one user to write:
"Good thing I don't drink beer - but it's unimaginable if this brand is finished because of this."
Another added: "I've always said the beer here is like horse pee. Turns out I was wrong."
A third wrote: "Now that he is being filmed and posted online, has he ever had this behavior of urinating into raw ingredients before?"
Someone else penned: "The problem is how to assure the public that the existing beer raw materials are not contaminated."
According to local media, Shao Ke, an attorney, expressed his belief that the incident constitutes a breach of Chinese health regulations.
Such a violation could potentially result in a warning or even a sentence of up to seven years in prison.