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Citizens give thumbs-up to food safety

A RECENT survey by Shanghai Statistics Bureau found 83.5 percent of local citizens were satisfied with food safety last year, up 15.6 percentage points from 2015.

Over 80 percent of those surveyed appreciated local authorities’ efforts in boosting food safety. They also have great expectations for food safety this year, and called for measures to control environment pollution and strengthen supervision of farming, food production and manufacturing.

Only 1.4 percent of the respondents thought food in the city was unsafe. Livestock that died of illness, rotten food and pesticide residues in vegetables were among the top three safety issues of concern, another survey revealed.

About 71.1 percent of people reported food safety concerns to the authorities through the hotlines 12331, 12345 and 12315.

The reward system for tip-offs, the popularization of tip-off channels and the tracking and accountability mechanism for tip-offs, were voted as the top three effective ways to promote public participation in safeguarding food safety.

With a revised system for tip-offs and improved services, Shanghai FDA received over 100,000 food safety complaints, tip-offs and consultations last year, up 28.2 percentage points from 2015.

A total of 766,300 yuan (US$111,332) were handed out as rewards.

According to the survey, over 70 percent of people surveyed said that tightened supervision and law enforcement, harsh punishment and exposure can greatly control food safety violations.

Respondents also seemed to be well aware about food safety and scored 80.2 points, which has been more or less constant since 2011. They wanted to know more about food nutrition and storage, notes on food shopping and additives.

Officials from Shanghai FDA said they would organize more lectures in the communities to promote the awareness of food safety. It was also using new media like WeChat to promote awareness and release new information to the public.

In general, food in Shanghai is safe and the food quality has improved in recent years, according to Shanghai FDA’s annual spot check data.

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