Beijing is strictly scrutinizing school canteens, food vendors and restaurants close to schools to secure a safer environment for students and teachers in the autumn semester, according to the city's food and drug authority.
Inspectors check the food quality at a supermarket in Beijing's Xicheng district on Wednesday. Zou Hong/China Daily
The monthlong program, launched by the Beijing Food and Drug Administration, started on Monday and will conclude on Sept 28.
The administration said it will perform random examinations of the 2,000-plus school canteens and catering companies that offer food to schools, as well as nearby food retailers, during the project.
The inspections of food preparation units are intended to crack down on poor quality food and eliminate potential safety hazards, according to the administration.
Sanitary conditions in kitchens and canteens, disinfection of tableware and storage of cold dishes will be stressed. The inspections will also cover the disposal of food waste.
Duan Zhiyong, the administration's director of catering service supervision, said food safety for students is the priority.
"More inspections will be carried out in school canteens and nearby shops while illegal activities that may pose a danger to student's health will be harshly punished," Duan said.
The inspections are a positive response to its "sunshine catering project" initiated by the Beijing government in 2017 to enhance food safety by requiring restaurants and canteens to publicize food processing information, and to build an evaluation system for the public.
More than 20,000 catering services in Beijing, including canteens in kindergartens, middle schools, high schools and restaurants, had been included in the sunshine project by the end of 2017.
Duan said that about 70 percent of catering companies have been covered by the project so far, and the administration aims to reach 80 percent of food service providers in 2019.