China food safety scandal: Strict tests for supermarket food

The recent series of food safety scandals to hit China has prompted calls for a revamp to supervision practices. Often when a scandal emerges, the public overlooks supervisory agencies and blames the food company at the center of the controversy. But as CCTV reporter Xue Jingmeng finds out, supermarkets are taking greater responsibility to fulfill their role in food safety.

Recent food scandals involving dyed steamed buns and lean meat powder have given Chinese shoppers more cause for concern at the supermarket. More are paying closer attention to the food they put in their supermarket trolleys.

A Beijing shopper said, “I care a great deal about food safety. Additives like lean meat powder are really harmful to our health.”

Shoppers told us they believe food safety violations should be resolved in a more effective and timely manner. They also hinted that they prefer shopping at big supermarkets, where they believe food safety standards are higher.

Another Beijing shopper said, “I often buy food and other products that are popular and have a good reputation.”

At this supermarket’s food supervision bureau, staff have just finished testing meat and vegetables. All are qualified food safety experts, who inspect about 20 kinds of food products daily.

Fu Yu, Public Relations Officer of Wumart, said, “All food is thoroughly tested in production and distribution centers before it arrives at our supermarkets. Finally, we also test food products ourselves to ensure there is no problem.”

Inevitably, some of the 20-thousand different products Wumart sells daily fail quality control tests. However, the supermarket chain is confident it can intercept these products before they are sold to shoppers.

Xue Jingmeng said, “Tainted food scandals have aroused nationwide concern. As for supermarkets, carrying out more strict tests on the food is a very important component. Food safety, a social issue, concerns everyone’s health and life.

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