The takeout food and beverage market has been booming in recent years. Meanwhile, the quality of online booking services and food safety have become a matter of public concern. On January 1, the Law on Measures for the Supervision and Administration of Food Safety in Internet Catering Services took effect.
Growing apps and delivery services make it convenient to order food online. But risks might hide behind the booming business. Customers have no idea about the food processing and whether the service providers are qualified. Besides self-discipline, external regulation should be introduced.
Currently, market players who can better comply with the rules can win the trust of consumers. The newly released measures stipulate that online catering services should be offered based on physical restaurants, and third-party platforms should inspect these restaurants and regularly review their business licenses.
Food safety in delivery is also a concern. In this regard, the new measures require restaurants and distribution staff to take on corresponding obligations. For instance, it demands that online platforms fulfill their responsibilities to provide information and strictly control the food manufacturing process, and requires delivery staff to maintain certain personal hygiene standards and ensure delivery without contamination.
With booming sales of online food and beverage, it has been a top priority for food safety watchdogs to strengthen supervision. The purpose of the new measures is to set rules for market players. The public expect them to be implemented strictly.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article published in South Daily on January 2, 2018)