Cameras keep watch over restaurant kitchens

Hu Min
Surveillance cameras have been installed at thousands of eateries across Shanghai as part of efforts to improve food quality and sanitation, market watchdog says.
Hu Min

Nearly 30,000 restaurants in Shanghai have been equipped with surveillance cameras to capture real-time food preparations in local kitchens, the city's market watchdog said on Wednesday.

"The program will roll into more catering service providers this year to ensure food safety," said Chen Xuejun, director of the Shanghai Market Supervision and Management Bureau.

Cleaning, disinfection and cooking processes in kitchens will be particularly targeted, said Chen. 

As part of the procedures of registering catering business, new medium-sized and larger restaurants are required to install electronic display screens or transparent glass walls to make their kitchen operations transparent to diners, Chen said.

Meanwhile, district authorities are encouraged to adopt the latest technology in their supervision and management, Chen said.

In some districts, an intelligent market supervision and management system can even identify the presence of rats and send images to officials in real time.

The system can further detect whether staff wear masks in cooking areas, as well as abnormalities in kitchen temperature and humidity, with reports of infractions being sent to authorities.

Authorities will also strengthen inspection and sample testing of online food operations using big data technologies, Chen said.

The bureau conducted random tests on 540 food orders purchased online last year, and 95 percent were up to standard.

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