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Strict procedures ensure food safety

[ 2010-06-10 11:19]     字号 [] [] []  
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Expo organizers have put in place strict procedures to track the source of food and ingredients in a bid to ensure the safety of visitors.

Six high-tech systems, including food tracking, remote temperature monitoring and remote video control, have been installed to ensure the quality of food brought into the Expo Garden.

"We have a complete list of food suppliers and manage dozens of distribution spots outside the Expo Garden," said Sheng Weitao, an official with the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration, who is in charge of Expo logistics.

"It's a standardized system of food processing and delivery," said Sheng.

Restaurants at the Expo Garden are also required to install kitchen cameras.

Organizers also use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), a technology that uses electronic identification tags, to track food through its entire supply chain.

"That means even a single carrot carries a RFID to notify its production date and shelf life," said a food safety inspector who did not wish to be named.

However, restaurants inside the Expo Garden are feeling the pressure of the strict procedures.

For chef Mao, who works for a Halal restaurant on the Pudong side of the Expo Garden, the stricter the rules, the higher the costs at the restaurant. "All the food products we're using come directly from China Eastern Airlines, therefore certain items such as cooking oil is twice as expensive as it used to be," said Mao.

"We even decided to buy daily items, like dishwashing liquid, from the convenience shops inside the Expo Garden to save money," he said.

Another direct consequence is the limited menu available inside Expo restaurants. "We have to eliminate certain dishes as it is forbidden to bring in some spices from Sichuan (province)," said Chen Deding, general manager of the Sichuan restaurant Baguobuyi.

According to a waitress from South Beauty, whole watermelons and live fish cannot be brought into the Expo Garden. "What we can do to serve fresh juice is extract the juice and bring it in with ice," she said.

And before bringing fish into the Expo Garden, employees must take the bones out first, she said. "Because of that, some dishes are 5 to 10 percent more expensive."


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Strict procedures ensure food safety

About the broadcaster:

Strict procedures ensure food safety

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is fluent in Korean and has a 2-year-old son.