Food safety prioritized to end pandemic(3)

2020-10-26 11:14:31Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

Retailers deliver vegetables to residents undergoing community quarantine after the novel coronavirus was detected at a seafood processing plant in Dalian, Liaoning province, in July, 2020. [Photo by LYU WENZHENG/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Reducing risks

As food safety supervision concerns every member of China's population of 1.4 billion and people's health and lives, authorities at all levels have prioritized food safety in public health and are urging greater efforts to reduce all risks.

In response to COVID-19, the country has banned the illegal trade in wildlife and the consumption of such animals, and has tightened supervision of the food industry, covering employees, the environment and logistics. In July, authorities announced the gradual closure of all live poultry markets.

People in the food industry are the focus of antivirus efforts. In the wake of the June outbreak at the Xinfadi wholesale market in Beijing, authorities started large-scale nucleic acid testing of workers in farmers' markets and the catering and delivery industries to stem virus transmission via food-related business activities.

Given that food delivery workers tend to be exposed to people frequently and therefore face higher health risks, the country has specifically issued antivirus guidelines ordering workers to maintain social distancing of at least 1 meter, use contactless delivery and place different foods in separate areas.

Supervision of the food market has been intensified across the country, especially in places with large populations.

COVID-19 prevention inspections have been conducted in the southern province of Guangdong, an economic powerhouse, covering local farmers' markets, supermarkets and retail and wholesale markets for aquatic products.

Cold chain food logistics have also come under the spotlight. To regulate the sector, China has implemented a national regulation outlining compulsory requirements for all links in cold chain food, including production, processing, transportation and sales.


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