China bans 496 unlicensed operators in school food safety inspection

GUANGZHOU, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government has closed down 496 unlicensed operators and replaced 2,352 raw material suppliers as of Oct. 14 during a school food safety inspection launched in September, an official with the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced Tuesday.


File photo: VCG

During the period, government agencies had inspected 631,000 food operators on or around the campuses, issued warnings to 11,400 operators and replaced 536 meal providers, said Wang Dengfeng, director of the ministry's department of physical, health and arts education, at a press conference in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province.

The inspection was jointly conducted by the MOE, the State Administration for Market Regulation, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

It has targeted school canteens, school meal providers, as well as grocery stores and restaurants near schools, and strengthened oversight in terms of food storage and processing, and cleaning and sanitizing of serving utensils.

Under a new regulation introduced earlier this year, school officials from kindergartens to high schools should accompany students during each school meal to spot problems and safety hazards and address them in a timely manner.

Wang said the MOE would supervise schools nationwide to better put the regulation into practice.

The government also requires school canteens to adopt a "bright kitchen and stove" policy by making public the food sources and cooking process.

By Oct. 14, 84 percent of the country's 380,000 schools and kindergartens with canteens had reached such a standard of transparency, said Wang, adding that the government was moving to promote its adoption in more schools.