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Transport hubs to be included in 'model food streets' plan

RAILWAY stations, airports and ports will be included in the 100 food safety "model streets and areas" this year, said the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration yesterday.

So far, the authorities have named 77 model streets or areas, places where food safety is found to be high. But none of them yet include eateries located in railway stations, airports or ports.

Officials said they will name 100 such streets or areas, covering more than 5,000 food stalls and restaurants by the end of this year. The scheme is being conducted to encourage food safety in the run up to next year's Expo.

To be named a model street or area, each location must ensure all its food is safe and hygienic, have no illegal street stalls and no violations for unlicensed businesses or selling or substandard food.

The model streets or areas will be scattered across the city's main shopping areas, travel hubs and business centers.

"Our next main target this year is to regulate the performance and enhance food safety in the major transport hubs," said Zhang Lei, vice director of the Shanghai Institute of Food and Drug Supervision.

To inform customers about the results of government inspections, all food businesses in model streets or areas have to stick up a face on the window or the wall. A smiling face in green means the restaurant received excellent results in its inspection. A yellow face with no smile means average results and a crying face in red means poor results.

Such inspections are usually conducted at random about every three months. Explanations on the face notification will be printed in Chinese and English. At the end of last year, half of the restaurants in the 77 food safety model streets or areas had smiling faces. About 20 percent had crying faces.

"Since the move in honoring model streets or areas was launched in 2007, complaints about food quality and safety have fallen considerably," Zhang said.

"Five streets or areas had zero complaints in 2008."


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