Shocking footage shows a cleaner squeezing water from the mop into a dish tray in a hotpot restaurant in east China.
The restaurant owner claimed the worker was newly employed and had not given thorough training.
Web users expressed their concerns if it was a common practice in catering businesses.
Mobile phone footage posted online was taken by Ms Lei, who was having a meal in Xila Chongqing Nine Cube Hot Pot in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, on December 1.
Ms Lei told Zhejiang Television that she noticed that the female cleaner mopping the floor while she was half way through her meal.
'She literally squeezed the water from the mop into a dish tray. There were bowls that customers use to eat.
'There's still germs on the dishes and bowls no matter how much you sterilised it,' said Ms Lei.
Mr Yang, the restaurant owner told the reporter that the worker had only worked for a few days.
'She has not been given training yet. I noticed from CCTV footage that she spilled the water on the floor and quickly mopped it and squeezed the water into the dish tray,' explained Mr Yang.
He had sacked the female worker and the incident had alerted government official body.
karen young, hove, United Kingdom, about 9 hours ago
That's nothing, my son saw the bloke who mops the toilet floors on the trains dip his mop into the clean water bowser which is used to fill the water tanks that feed the toilet and hand wash basins on the trains and that's not in China Lol
RobertG, Rockville, United States, about 9 hours ago
Wait tell people find out that is how they make the soup.
Sam Munson, somewhere, United States, about 10 hours ago
Mark, London, about 10 hours ago
It's China - why are you so surprised?
th1116, S.E., United States, about 11 hours ago
Mmm, the dishes were in a tub to be run through the washer. China knows how to make care of business, been doing it for 5000 years.
jennyballs, san francisco, United States, about 11 hours ago
i once saw a chinese restaurant boil soapy water in the food wok and use it to mop the floors, yuck never went back
HAKUNAMATATA, IN THE JUNGLE, United Kingdom, about 13 hours ago
You guessed it, China!