Food Supplies for Olympics are 100pc Safe Claim Beijing Authorities

by Hannah Punitha on Aug 23 2008 1:22 PM

Authorities in Beijing claim that food supplies for the Olympics are "100 percent" safe, and that not even one accident has been reported thus far.

Tang Yunhua, spokeswoman for food safety coordination with the Beijing Food Safety Administration Office, has revealed that supervisors have monitored over 1.6 million shares of food since the Olympics started.

She says that the Beijing food safety monitoring team has done numerous food checks to food suppliers since February 2007, to ensure safe food from farm to fork.

"A total of 16,610 samples (from food suppliers) have been checked with a qualification rate of 98.67 percent. The not-up-tfood supplierso-standard foods were detected at the farming bases or in the production lines," quoted her as telling Xinhua news agency.

"We have sealed or destroyed all of them (the substandard food materials) and the suppliers concerned were fined. By doing so, we have ensured that all the foods going out of the production lines to the Olympic tables were 100 percent up to the standard," she added.

According to her, special attention has been paid to the four important links in the food supply chain, namely the farms, production, distribution and transportation, and canteens.

"First of all, we have made sure that all the farms and the animal farms are following strict standards and have a strict control and ban of high toxins, high residue pesticide as well as animal feeds and animal drugs. We are able to conduct a full process tracing of animal products," she said.

"Secondly, in the production process we have done inspections batch by batch and had a very strict control of the exit of the food product," she added.

As regards the distribution and transportation process, Tang said that Beijing had installed high-tech tools like global positioning system, electronic labelling and temperature censors vehicles to track the vehicles, and control the temperature inside.

She said that the city had also carried out thorough training of the cooking staff in the final catering link, and kept the filing of the menu, raw material and sampling of prepared food.

Tang also said that Beijing was prepared to tackle any possible human criminal act of toxic food, and that monitoring staff had been equipped with fast inspection tools that could detect over 20 toxins and 40 dangerous substances.

To prevent potential chemical or radio active contamination, she said, a food accident emergency response database had been built.

The database included response and medical relief measures to various biological, chemical and radio active substances, and the case studies of similar incidents in the past, Tang said.

She added that apart from enhancing safety check to the foods for the Olympics, great efforts had been made to improve the food safety for the general public.

"We realize that only when the overall level of food safety in Beijing is greatly improved, can the food safety for the Olympics be better secured. So the measures taken during the Olympics have already been implemented for the general public and will continue to be in place after the Olympics," she said.