The China Food and Drug Administration has released a draft regulation on online food services for public opinions. It proposes that any food delivery business providing an online service should also have a physical outlet and a food business license. Beijing News commented on Feb 15.
People are increasingly willing to order food online and the market is now worth over 152 billion yuan ($23 billion). However, there are concerns about the hygiene conditions at the production plants and food safety.
Basic food safety and hygiene are the bottom lines to protect consumers. Even though technology is changing our lifestyle, it doesn’t guarantee the online food delivery market will grow smoothly.
A physical store may not necessarily be a foolproof way to protect consumers, but at least it means the industry can be supervised, and when there is a problem with food safety or any infringement on the rights of consumers those responsible can be found.
Restaurants, whether online or offline, should have the necessary business licenses, including a food hygiene license. The businesses involved should not only offer a fast food delivery service, but also clean, safe environment for producing the meals. The draft of the new regulation may prompt more people to care about the issue.