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Food safety has long been a thorny issue in China. To combat the problem, the country has already issued thousands of national and industry standards.
And now, to hopefully put the nail in the coffin, the National Food and Drug Administration says restaurants nationwide will "face" the consequences, if they offer unsafe food on their menus.
Besides Michelin stars, from now on, you might also want to look for a "smily face", at your local restaurant.
|Food safety high level restaurants will be given big smily face,minimum level restaurants will be given emotionless face sticker.|
The National Food and Drug Administration is introducing a new scheme which ranks restaurants and cafeterias nationwide on their food safety level.
Xu Jinghe, Director of Food Safety Supervision Department, says, "If a restaurant's food safety level is high, it will be given a big smily face sticker. If it meets the minimum requirement, it will be given a emotionless face sticker. We are recommending consumers to eat at restaurants with smily faces where sanitation conditions are better."
The announcement was made at a food safety press conference in Beijing on Tuesday. But the campaign has been brewing for years.
According to the National Food and Drug Administration, inspection & rating of over 2.5 million food catering units will be carried out by September.
While the government is now doing its part to combat food safety problems in the country, it's also asking its citizens for more awareness.
Ke Dan in Beijing Sanitation Supervision Bureau says, "Consumers need to pay attention to whether a restaurant has a sanitation and catering certificate. Also, selling products like seafood will require additional certification. Many consumers don't know that."
In response to a string of food safety scandals in recent years, the government has set up a food safety commission led by vice premier Li Keqiang. He's calling for harsh punishments for violations of food safety laws.
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- Food safety campaign kicks off in China 2012-06-11