Quality supervision officers check samples of food at a market in Suichuan county, Jiangxi province, in July. [Photo/China Daily]
A new round of nationwide food safety inspections will take place between Aug 26 and Sept 10 to reduce the risks posed by small workshops, vendors and restaurants that produce substandard food.
The State Council’s Food Safety Commission announced the inspection and the implementation of the food safety law in all 31 provincial regions on the Chinese mainland last week.
At least three food producers will be inspected in each of the selected cities or counties of each region, according to the commission.
“It’s a proper and timely measure,” said Hu Yinglian, an associate professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, whose research focuses on food and drug administration reform. Hu said similar inspections were conducted last year.
“The inspections are not limited only to food safety. The environmental protection department is also involved in the inspection,” Hu said. “Through the inspection, the central government will have a better understanding of how the Food Safety Law has been put into practice.”
It’s also an assessment of food safety work at the local level, Hu said. The large number of small workshops, vendors and restaurants, as well as sloppy management, create a high risk for unsafe food, he said.
The inspection would put more focus on bulk commodities, cooking oil and rice. Small-scale e-commerce platforms will also receive close attention, as will food security at colleges and universities.
The inspections, coming ahead of the 19th National Congress later this year, would create a peaceful and harmonious environment, Hu said.