Shanghai beefs up food safety mechanism in schools
A day before the spring semester begins, Shanghai's market regulators on Tuesday announced the setting up of a three-tier food safety management system for schools.
The Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation says that schools and childcare centers must have food safety inspectors and directors based on the number of meals they serve, the level of food risk, the level of management, and the status of food safety.
Food safety was formerly only the responsibility of school headmasters.
Officials claimed the new procedure puts a "safety lock" to ensure food safety.
Food safety personnel will be randomly tested on their food safety knowledge.
Those who fail to comply with the new regulations will be ordered to do so, and inspections will be increased.The administration will penalize schools that violate the new process.
It claimed the city's market watchdog would inspect school meals with education authorities.
Some city schools have trialed information tracking and Internet-based food safety systems to stamp out food safety risks.
On Tuesday, staff at the Xindu campus of Minhang District Secondary Experimental Primary School and Shanghai Lvjie Industrial Development Co, the school's meal supplier, prepared lunch for over 1,200 students.
The school has separate areas for washing ingredients and processing seafood and poultry.
"For example, we have six kinds of towels differentiated in different colors, to be used for different food," said Zhang Wei, executive schoolmaster. "Every step is meticulously monitored because a large-scale food supply is due following the long winter holiday."
The need of dishwashing and disinfecting is emphasized.
Surveillance cameras have been put in school kitchens as part of the trial, and the footage will be shared in real time to both lunch service providers and authorities. When risks are discovered, an alarm automatically goes off.