Foreign athletes will be prohibited from taking their own food
into the Beijing Olympic Village in order to ensure food security,
Olympic officials said on Thursday.
Outlining food safety rules for the Games, Kang Yi, catering chief of the Beijing
Olympics organizing committee, said the rule complied with standard
"Foods are banned mainly out of safety concerns, and beverages
are not allowed in the Olympic village to protect sponsors'
rights," she said.
Xiang Ping, deputy director of games services department, said:
"Olympic games of past ages did not allow athletes to bring their
own prepared food to the athletes village, but medicines are
complicated and will be treated differently.
"Athletes who have long taken certain kinds of medicines should
first report the medicines via the designated personnel of their
respective countries and then might be able to take the medicines
to Beijing," said Xiang.
The comments were made in response to questions at a press
conference about reports that the U.S. delegation would set up a
training camp outside the Olympic Village where the athletes could
prepare their own food.
"We have made a thorough preparation for the Games, hoping that
all the athletes from the world over could be happy together during
the Beijing Olympic Games. I will feel sorry if the American
delegation is not part of the party," said Kang, who admitted that
his section had not received any formal notice informing him about
the American delegation's plan.
Xiang said that she had received no formal notification of the
plan either and added that it was unnecessary for foreign teams to
bring their own food.
"There is no need to bring prepared food on the part of athletes
as there is a great variety of food to meet everybody's needs at
the athletes village," said Xiang.
Tang Yunhua, spokeswoman of the Municipal Office for Food
Safety, said standards for the Games were stringent, sometimes even
higher than standard international practices.
"Beijing has worked out careful plans concerning the guarantee
of food safety during the Olympic Games," she said.
"Beijing has established a comprehensive food safety control
mechanism that covers the whole process from production to the
table so we can make sure Olympic food is entirely safe," she
"We have been doing our utmost to take the customs and tastes of
all competing athletes into consideration in supply of raw
materials," said Tang.
"The city authority has also worked out strict measures to
guarantee food safety for the Olympic Games so that food safety at
the village and sports venues is not at risk," said Tang.
"We suggested delegations from all countries should feel at ease
eating the food we serve at the Olympic Village," said Tang.
(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2008)