14 July 2016
China to Tighten Rules on Online Food Safety Violations
Teng Jiacai, Deputy Director of the China Food and Drug Administration, made reference to the recent hot topic of "family kitchen food to go" at a recent forum, saying that he did not subscribe to this practice of ordering food online because there is no legal definition for "family kitchen". He also disclosed that the soon-to-be-promulgated Measures for Investigating and Punishing Online Food Safety Violations will step up the investigation and punishment of online sales of food and drinks.
These Measures will require online food order platforms to display online their restaurant name and ingredients used, and the name used online must be the same as that on the legal documents issued by departments concerned. The business licence and relevant credentials must also be publicly displayed. In connection with food delivery, the Measures stipulate that food runners must be healthy and must not have communicable diseases. Records of the food orders must be kept online for six months.
"Online food orders have seen very rapid growth and it is indeed difficult for us to keep up our supervision. Young people are all busy at work these days and these platforms do make their life much easier. However, online food orders do entail a lot of food safety risks. We have always been concerned about the supervision of this business mode and have spelled out the legal and primary responsibilities of the third-party platforms, requiring them to bear their corresponding management responsibility as well as their primary responsibility for food safety. Caterers or service providers alike must combine their offline and online business as long as they deliver food products. Supervision is the same for both offline and online operations," said Teng.