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Food to be confiscated

THE Expo organizer will begin confiscating large amounts of boxed meals or food brought by visitors or pavilion employees from Thursday to ensure food safety during the hot weather.

Expo officials said the move will also prevent these people from selling food on the grounds to others.

Some pavilions that have failed to attract decent business to its stores and restaurants were found selling box meals, ordered from outside the site, to visitors.

Also, some visitors were found taking a basket of cucumbers to the site and selling them for 5 yuan (73 US cents) each, said an Expo official who asked not to be identified.

The official said organizers were worried about food poisoning incidents as box meals can easily go bad in hot weather and some visitors eat the cucumbers without washing them first.

The number of digestive problems suffered by visitors has increased due to the hot weather, Lin Shengyong, director of the site's commercial administration and service department, has said.

If an individual tries to take 10 box meals into the Expo site, security personnel will confiscate the food, the source said.

Some restaurants will begin offering box meals on mobile carts because many visitors want simple food in hot weather, the official said.

Each cart will have a certificate of authority to distinguish them from those selling unauthorized box meals.

The city's food safety authority will supervise the food-making process and all box meals must be sold within two hours, the official said.

The price will be the same as those outside the Expo site, thus visitors do not need to bring homemade food, the official said.

Nearly a quarter of visitors bring food to the Shanghai Expo, doubling that of Aichi Expo 2005 in Japan, as food prices are perceived to be higher than outside the site.

The average cost of a meal is about 40 yuan (US$5.91) per person. About half of visitors have eaten at restaurants and 20 percent bought snacks at on-site facilities.


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