(Yicai Global) Nov. 13 -- China has brought in a new rule for online takeout services, forbidding restaurants from commissioning other companies to prepare food and putting the onus on meal delivery platforms to maintain food safety.
Under the new measure, takeout service platforms need to set up their own food safety management units, assign dedicated food safety managers and carry out inspections to examine the restaurants they work with. The new measure will take effect from Jan. 1, 2018, Beijing Youth Daily reported.
Online takeout platforms contribute to the development of the catering industry and make people’s lives more convenient, but there are issues that need to be addressed, the China Food and Drug Administration said when announcing the measure. Some third-party platforms fail to fulfill their responsibilities and do not strictly examine restaurants and some do not have strong awareness of food safety, the administration added. Operation management standards are poor and there are hidden food safety risks, but the cross-regional nature of the industry makes it difficult to regulate, it said.
Service providers will need to fulfill their obligations under the new measure while releasing relevant information to the public, controlling raw materials and processing and regularly maintaining facilities and equipment.
The measure also stipulates that meal delivery platforms should enhance food safety training and management over food delivery personnel to ensure staff do not touch or otherwise contaminate food during delivery.
The CFDA also encouraged platforms to provide degradable food containers, tableware and other packaging.