Expo food on course to be safe

10:38, April 14, 2010      

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Workers make sesame balls and dumplings on Tuesday in a Henan factory authorized to produce food for the Shanghai Expo. [China Daily]

The World Expo will provide food that is safe and of good quality, and it will also meet the highest standards under a tracking system that will enable it to be traced back to its source, local officials said on Tuesday.

Organizers of the Expo will use Radio Frequency Identification, a kind of electronic identification tag, and other technologies to track food through its entire supply chain, including food producers, processing factories, storage and transport businesses.

"Such a system can help the organizer to guarantee food safety and quality all the way from production to the dinner table," Xie Minqiang, deputy director of the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration, said at a press conference.

All restaurants and food suppliers for the Expo have been chosen strictly on the basis of merit.

More than 2,000 workers who will help run these establishments have been intensively trained, so that they are capable of meeting the requirements of local laws concerning food safety.

The local health and food supervision department also established three food inspection stations at the Expo site. Each station is designed to test more than 50 items and to produce a result within 30 minutes.

As the Expo spans 184 days and an estimated 70 million visitors with diverse eating habits are expected to attend the event, food safety is a crucial issue, Xie said.

At the Expo site itself, there will be approximately 150 food stores and 250 restaurants, which have been required to mark food allergens on their menus.

There will also be 30 monitoring points for drinking water to ensure its safety.

Local food safety watchdogs also intensified their monitoring and supervision activities outside the Expo site by requiring the city's more than 50,000 restaurants to improve their food safety awareness and service levels.

At the press conference, Xie brushed off the concern that Shanghai kitchens might use recycled waste, or swill, oil in cooking, noting that in tests conducted over the past two years more than 99 percent of the oil used in local restaurants was found to be safe.

Source: China Daily


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