Official: Food for Olympics 100% safe
Updated: 2008-08-22 14:44

Beijing's food monitoring authorities said on Friday that food supply for the Beijing Olympics is "100 percent" safe and not a single food safety accident has been reported so far.

From August 7 to August 20, supervisors from the Olympic food safety inspection team have monitored more than 1.6 million shares of food and not a single food safety accident was reported, said Tang Yunhua, spokeswoman for food safety coordination with the Beijing Food Safety Administration Office.

Catering to hundreds of athletes, officials and reporters from around the globe during the Olympics has always been a challenge to the Olympic host cities. Official figurers showed that the Beijing Games have attracted more than 10,000 athletes and 26,000 journalists.

Tang said the Beijing food safety monitoring team have done numerous food checks to food suppliers since February 2007 to ensure safe food from farm to fork.

"A total of 16,610 samples (from food suppliers) have been checked with a qualification rate of 98.67 percent. The not-up-to-standard foods were detected at the farming bases or in the production lines," she said.

"We have sealed or destroyed all of them (the substandard food materials) and the suppliers concerned were fined. By doing so, we have ensured that all the foods going out of the production lines to the Olympic tables were 100 percent up to the standard," she said.

The official said Beijing has paid special attention to the four important links in the food supply chain, namely the farms, production, distribution and transportation, and canteens.

"First of all, we have made sure that all the farms and the animal farms are following strict standards and have a strict control and ban of high toxins, high residue pesticide as well as animal feeds and animal drugs. We are able to conduct a full process tracing of animal products," she said.

"Secondly, in the production process we have done inspections batch by batch and had a very strict control of the exit of the food product," said Tang.

In the distribution and transportation process, the official said the city has installed high-tech tools such as global positioning system, electronic labeling and temperature censors vehicles to track the vehicles and control the temperature inside.

The city has also carried out thorough training of the cooking staff in the final catering link and kept the filing of the menu, raw material and sampling of prepared food, said Tang.

Meanwhile, in response to possible human criminal act of toxic food, the city has equipped food monitoring staff with fast inspection tools which can detect more than 20 toxins and 40 dangerous substances.

To prevent potential chemical or radio active contamination, the city has built up its food accident emergency response database which included response and medical relief measures to various biological, chemical and radio active substances and the case studies of similar incidents in the past, Tang said.

While enhancing safety check to the foods for the Olympics, Tang said great efforts have been made to improve the food safety for the general public.

"We realize that only when the overall level of food safety in Beijing is greatly improved, can the food safety for the Olympics be better secured. So the measures taken during the Olympics have already been implemented for the general public and will continue to be in place after the Olympics," she said.

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