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June 9, 2011

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Fast tests to reduce risks

Fast quality test areas have been set up in most hypermarkets in Shanghai, business administrators said yesterday.

They will enable tests for pesticide and clenbuterol, an illegal additive sometimes used in pork production, to be made within 10 to 20 minutes, officials said yesterday.

Tests will be carried out on vegetables, fruit, dairy and meat products, the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau said.

The test areas are equipped with a box of chemical reagents. Test staff will take a sample from products and drip reagents on them to see what kind of chemical reaction occurs. This will indicate whether there is a problem.

The bureau said the hypermarkets will train their own testing staff. Consumers can also ask to have products checked.

Meanwhile, the bureau has testing vehicles on patrol around the city to enable random inspections at any time.

Officials said they wouldn't punish manufacturers or sellers on the basis of those inspection results alone. If the fast tests reveal problems, samples will be sent to a laboratory for further testing.

Also yesterday, bureau officials said a new system of selling food approaching its expiry date had been introduced.

Most markets in the city will now sell such food in a special area and indicate clearly to consumers that the food is nearing its expiry date.

Previously, such products were marked down in price without a notice saying why.


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