Watchdog seeks standard for convenience store kitchens

Current regulations cover prepackaged items. The food watchdog is encouraging stores to produce and sell freshly made food.

Shanghai's food watchdog plans to draft a standard on kitchens processing freshly made food at convenience stores.

Current regulations only cover prepackaged food, such as boxed lunches, and research is being carried out on setting up kitchens at convenience stores that make fresh food and provide catering services, the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration said.

"We encourage convenience stores that meet food safety and hygiene safety standards to produce and serve freshly made food," said Shen Weitao, director of the administration’s food supervision and management department.

The administration is also considering rewarding whistleblowers who identify unlicensed restaurants. The current system only covers tips-off in fields such as food scandals.

Last year, whistleblowers received 779,100 yuan (US$119,862) for 1,037 cases in the city.

Meanwhile, local political advisers said more accessible, or barrier-free, facilities should be established and management enhanced as many were occupied or used by others.

There are about 970,000 disabled people in the city. "An increasing number of the disabled in Shanghai are driving cars, which provide great convenience to their life, while most parking lots in the city don't have barrier-free parking space," said Shen Jie, a local political adviser.

At some public parking lots such as at hospitals, there are barrier-free parking spaces, but they are either occupied by others or locked without proper management, Shen said.

"Newly built public parking lots should set aside certain a proportion of barrier-free parking space and ensure their normal use," he said.

He also called for research and development of barrier-free buses and an increase of barrier-free taxis.

"Barrier-free facilities are not only used by the disabled, but also seniors, pregnant women and parents with baby carriages," said Shen.

The construction and management of barrier-free structures and roads should also be strengthened because barrier-free roads are often occupied by shared bikes, he said.

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