Shanghai FDA uses AI technology to tighten supervision

Shanghai's food watchdog is using artificial intelligence technologies to detect food irregularities. Moreover some new catering business models will appear in the city. 

Shanghai's food watchdog is using artificial intelligence technologies to detect food irregularities. Moreover, some new catering business models such as "shared restaurant" will appear in the city soon, a senior food watchdog official said today.

The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration is testing image recognition technologies to automatically spot irregularities captured in surveillance cameras.

The use of new technologies is more deterrent and also improves efficiency, said Yang Jinsong, director of the administration.

Many catering businesses in the city have installed surveillance cameras and the irregularities that can be detected via surveillance cameras include whether workers wear uniforms, wear masks, wash hands and disinfect tableware properly. The hygiene conditions of cooking and catering areas can also be seen. The screenshots of irregularities provide reference for administrative punishment.

The administration is also using big data analysis of online food delivery websites to better supervise and manage wanghong restaurants — literally “web celebrity restaurants.”

Meanwhile, guidance on convenience stores that install kitchens processing freshly made food will be issued in the end of this month, Yang said.

Current regulations only cover prepackaged food, such as boxed lunches, and research was carried out on setting up kitchens at convenience stores that make fresh food and provide catering services.

Two convenience stores in the city have almost finished decoration and they will have separate kitchens cooking food.

A new catering model known as "shared restaurant" will appear in the city next month. Consumers order meals made by catering businesses within 800 meters range via app, and "shared restaurant" operator will pick the food from catering businesses and provide a venue for those who order the food to eat.


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