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#China tightens supervision of online catering services 




china-milk1China’s top food safety watchdog said at a press conference on 27th February that it will tighten the supervision of the booming online catering services to prevent and control food risks, writes Huang Fahong.

Only licensed restaurants can accept online orders and they have to ensure a same quality between the products they sell online and offline, said Bi Jingquan, chief of the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA).

He vowed that the authority will reinforce supervisions on the third-party platforms and the offline restaurants as well.

The tougher rules came amid a rapid development of China’s online catering industry in recent years. Data showed that the online to offline (O2O) market of food-delivery services hit 152.4 billion yuan

in 2016. The delivery men can be seen everywhere in big cities, but food safety emerged as a new challenge.

The People’s Daily, in a commentary published on 28th February, agreed that food safety has witnessed more uncertainties after more and more food were offered online.

Currently, only those restaurants that have entity stores are allowed to sell their food online. The article explained that the requirements do not mean to squeeze business of online catering providers, but help set up a safety wall for the consumers.


A removal of potential health hazard at the souring chain will also ensure the customers’ access to those competent food providers, it added.

In the next step, the CFDA will make efforts to ensure the licenses of all those catering businesses are valid, and the offline food providers are legal restaurants rather than underground workshops.

Restaurant must ensure the prevention of food from pollution in the delivery process, which requires the logistics firms to shoulder their responsibilities.

The complaints from customers have to be dealt with in a timely manner, it added, urging the third-party platforms to do more since the consumers usually order and pay for meals via these platforms.

Voicing a zero-tolerance attitude towards violations of laws, Bi vowed that his administration will punish all irregularities in a timely manner if any third-party platforms or offline restaurants were found as violators.

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