A video of a restaurant employee blowing air into a food package is doing rounds on social media, with anti-Muslim messages.
The short clip shows a man packing food behind a counter, and then blowing air into the plastic wrap, before securing it with a rubber band.
The Cognate’s Fact vs. Fake found one video, which was uploaded on March 21, 2020, with the title, “Corona Virus से खाने पीने की बाजारी चीजो से परहेज करें और टोपी वाली बीमारी की नीचता देखे (sic)”, which can be loosely translated as, urging people against eating outside and beware of topiwallas (Muslims).
Video is from Malaysia, not India
A simple Google search of the keywords ‘blowing into food packets’ took us to a May 1, 2019 article published by the Malaysian website Feedme.
Titled, “Watch: Mamak Staff Blows Air and Saliva into Papadum Bags, Enrages Netizens”, the article is about the same restaurant worker blowing into the food package, which had gone viral in Malaysia last year and had enraged people.
“A video has been widely circulating on Facebook which saw a mamak staff’s unhygienic practice. He picked up papadums with his bare hand to put into them into a plastic bag. Then, he blew some air, liplock with the plastic bag, into it before securing with a rubber band.
The employee with a white songkok did it three times in the 1 minute and 50 seconds video. Every time he blew air into the bags, he turned slightly to the wall as if to hide his actions from any possible onlookers.
Netizens were shocked to see the staff’s act. Many even commented that they will never want to dine in a mamak restaurant again after watching the video, let alone having to eat papadum there.
The location of the mamak restaurant remains a mystery despite the post has gone massively viral, gathering over 11,000 shares since it posted on April 26.”
We also found another news report about the incident, which was uploaded on YouTube by Vanakkam Malaysia, a popular local news channel on April 26, 2019.
This clearly shows that neither the restaurant is based in India, nor the staffer’s act has anything to do with the novel coronavirus.