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Freshly made food standard to be drafted

Nov 9, 2017

Shanghai will draft a local standard on "freshly made food" to regulate the market, the city's food watchdog said on Wednesday.

The standard will cover the production, operation and hygiene conditions of food sold in machines and freshly made food, said Yang Jinsong, director of the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration.

"Self-cooking" noodle machines popular in some Shanghai office buildings were suspended late last month.

The machines, known as "Yo-Kai Express", can automatically boil and serve a bowl of noodles in 45 seconds, after customers select flavors and make a digital payment.

"Such catering businesses are still in a very initial stage, and we support new catering businesses that can satisfy the demand of various people, but food safety is always the bottom line," Yang said.

In 2014, automatic freshly squeezed orange juice vending machines appeared in Shanghai, and authorities organized experts to conduct an evaluation. They suggested the supplier improve its production technique to eliminate safety hazards. It has since operated for three years without any food safety incidents, Yang added.

Authorities have ordered online food delivery platforms to enhance training and education on delivery workers, Yang said, and told them to improve techniques in food delivery such as the sealing and packaging of food.

The order came after a deliveryman from the food delivery platform Meituan-Dianping was caught on video eating part of an ordered meal and then spitting it back late last month.

The deliveryman was captured by a surveillance camera in an elevator. He has been fired.

A big data system has been established and data sharing of the food delivery platforms and government will be strengthened further, said Yang.

The administration has tested 1,815 samples of delivery food including cold noodles and sandwiches this year, and 89.5 percent passed, up 6.9 percent from last year, it said.

Authorities have ordered food delivery platforms to study the information of catering businesses' licenses provided by the government and to ban those operating unlicensed or face punishment, Yang said.

About 85 percent of catering businesses on delivery platforms have licenses displayed, a significant rise compared with previous years, Yang added.