Mobile food testing unit ensures safety

Mobile food testing vehicles are keeping a check on eateries and food delivery men on the roads to ensure food safety.
Chen Xihan

A food inspector uses a device to test food delivery boxes yesterday in Putuo District.

With the rise in food delivery business, the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration has launched mobile food testing vehicles that have been carrying out random checks on both food delivery men and eateries.

Those failing the quick tests will be delisted from the two popular online food delivery platforms Ele.me and Meituan.

The mobile vehicles are equipped with on-the-spot testing devices, fluorescent brightener analysis meters and meat water content analysis meters that can spot pesticide residue and illegal additives quickly.

The results show up within 30 minutes for some items.

Samples from the failed tests are sent to laboratories for further tests, which, if it shows up negative again, are sent to the administration.

The mobile tests also check bacteria content including colony number and coliform.

Improper disinfection of delivery boxes can lead to food contamination, according to Zhang Lei, deputy director of the administration’s food supervision and management department.

Yesterday, random orders were sent out on the two online platforms for delivery in Putuo District. Tests were carried out as soon as the food delivery man brought the orders — milk tea, bread, salad, malatang (a Sichuan-style meat and vegetable soup) and hotpot meat. The test results came out clean.

The city’s food authorities said they had tested more than 1,800 food samples listed on the online delivery platforms last year and 10.5 percent failed. Most of negative results were for microorganism. Zhang said it was likely due to cold chain during delivery and unclean delivery boxes. 

Chen Xihan

A food inspector carries out tests on eatables in a mobile vehicle. 

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