More food safety violations handled, fewer complaints in 2019: report

Chen Huizhi
In criminal food-safety cases, more suspects were based outside of Shanghai and problematic food products were increasingly sold over the Internet, according to authorities.
Chen Huizhi

Shanghai authorities dealt with 8,177 food safety violations in 2019, 17 percent more than the previous year, according to a food safety report released during the city's annual political sessions.

Violators paid fines of 134 million yuan (US$20 million) in total, and in 194 criminal cases handled by the police 594 suspects were caught, according to the report.

Among new trends in criminal food-safety cases, more suspects were located outside of Shanghai and played specialized roles in manufacturing, logistics and sales, and problematic food products were increasingly sold over the Internet, the report said.

The authorities received 28,621 complaints and 28,884 reports related to food safety problems last year, down 27 percent and 34 percent respectively from 2018.

Top complaints and reports were about unsanitary and unhygienic food, feeling sick after eating, restaurants with no license and smoking in restaurants, according to the report.

Authorities rated 102,317 restaurants around Shanghai on food safety last year, and 42 percent were given A rating, a 4.7 percentage point increase from the previous year.

Meanwhile, 57.2 percent of restaurants were given B rating, a 4.2 percentage point decrease from the previous year, and about 200 restaurants were given C rating.

Authorities also made spot checks on about 150,000 food samples, and only 1.5 percent failed tests. In terms of restaurant food, major problems were unclean tableware and failed micro-organism tests for salads, ready-made drinks, raw seafood and boxed food.

Three collective food poisoning cases were reported to the authorities last year, sickening 65 people without death.

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