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June 20, 2012

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

New safety rules likely for store-made drinks

STREETSIDE beverage stalls and store-made drinks in restaurants are popular, but there are no specific regulations on freshly made drinks in national and local food safety rules. That could leave loopholes for improper preparation that risks people's health, officials said.

A rule regulating raw materials and processing for store-made drinks such as fruit juice, cereal and bean drinks and milk tea will be discussed by local food safety officials today.

There is no national regulation on fresh beverages. Local officials oversee them using existing regulations on industrialized beverages.

"Fresh beverages are different from industrialized-made drinks, as they doesn't need preservatives and are more likely to be tainted during preparation," said Gu Zhenhua, vice director of Shanghai Food Safety Office.

"The local rule will consider the standard on industrialized-made drinks as well as the practical conditions at drink stores and restaurants," Gu said. "Most importantly, we will regulate food additives allowed to be used on fresh drinks.

Abuse of food additives is serious at some small stores for the sake of reducing cost."

Stores and restaurants, Gu said, "must publicize ingredients of the beverage, including the percentage of water and ice, and the shelf life or deadline for drinking," he said.

According to the draft rule, fresh juice means using fresh fruit, vegetables, cereal or beans as major raw materials and being sold after crushing or squeezing to be consumed directly.

Store-made drinks must be served within six hours or at the meal for which it was made. Drinks solely prepared with condensed juice, fruit and vegetable powder or syrup cannot be sold as fresh. No food additives or inedible materials are allowed in fresh juice. Also, fresh juice can't be sold as pure juice if water or ice has been added.


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