Major Chinese cities are putting in place systems to prevent
illness caused by food hazards and a lack of food safety
procedures, as the peak season for food poisoning approaches,
according to local health authorities.
Many cities in China usually undergo dramatic weather changes in
the transitional period between spring and summer, which tends to
make people more vulnerable to viruses, according to medical
Additionally, some fresh fruits and vegetables contaminated by
pesticides are often sold and consumed with little concern.
To cope with the problem, major regions in the country have
created high profile plans to minimize possible incidents.
Shanghai Food and Drug Administration announced last week its
plans to strengthen its food quality inspections, standardized
processing, and its assessment of the physical condition of staff
at local markets and restaurants to ensure a healthy food
A new food safety network coordinated among relevant municipal
bureaus has also been set up, aimed at ensuring food safety from
production sites to the wholesale and retail markets and
The food safety inspectors in some districts of Shanghai will be required to work additional
hours during the week-long Labor Day holiday, in order to guarantee
food safety in the night markets.
The Guangzhou municipal government has also declared it will
build a comprehensive system to prevent diseases resulting from
food this month.
The system has a consultant team consisting of medical experts
who are experienced in solving food emergencies, according to Mao
Xinwu, an official with the municipal Centrt for Disease Control
Several poisonous species of mushrooms are the main causes of
many food poisoning cases in the city.
Measures to prevent residents from consuming poisonous mushrooms
have been taken, including posting warning signs about the
mushrooms in public places and the local media, carrying out health
seminars, and delivering pamphlets.
The city's health authorities also conduct regular supervision
and checks on food in supermarkets, wet markets and
Health authorities in Jiangsu's capital city Nanjing have recently
announced plans to set up a 24-hour emergency mechanism for any
The mechanism includes establishing dozens of food quality
inspection stations, examining major procedures and components
involved in food processing, and assigning medical care teams.
"But to promote the public's awareness of food safety is the
fundamental way to solve the problem," said Huang Guirong, an
official with Nanjing Municipal Health Inspection Institution.
Statistics show that food safety incidents happen more
frequently in summer, according to local health authorities.
(China Daily April 24, 2006)