The Ministry of Health (MOH) said yesterday it had shut down
more than 41,200 restaurants operating without permits and revoked
some 2,000 hygiene licenses since September in connection with its
efforts to ensure food safety.
About 79,000 restaurants were found to have broken hygiene laws
during the three-month inspection campaign, which involved more
than 1.9 million restaurants, the MOH said. Of that number, 26,433
restaurants were investigated and 101 cases were transferred to
judicial departments. Fines worth a combined 37.3 million yuan were
"Our efforts to ensure food safety have reduced the frequency of
food poisoning and prevented the spread of diseases caused by human
intestinal viruses," Wang Xuening, deputy head of the MOH's
supervision bureau, said yesterday at a press conference in
About 3,600 people in the country were hit by food poisoning in
the past three months, an increase of 30 percent compared with the
same period last year, Wang said. He attributed the improvement to
efforts at strengthening the supervision of the food industry.
He said the monitoring stations under MOH cover 830 million
people living in 15 provinces.
The production of 54 staple foods has been under close
supervision since 2000.
"We also launched a nationwide food contaminant monitoring
program in September to encourage restaurants to buy only certified
food," Wang said.
The network covers 91 percent of the country's restaurants. A
total of 1.19 million restaurants have set up standardized
processes for buying clean food, he said.
"It is an effective way to stop contaminated food from going
into circulation," Wang said.
(China Daily December 11, 2007)