Health Safety - Problems Of Chinese Catering Industry

May 07, 2012 2:32 AM ET
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The catering industry is an unfailing industry in China, with a history of thousands of years. Although the modern catering constantly excavates traditional food cultures, it is still in an initial development period. China has a population of over 1.3 billion, which is the largest catering market in the global. Since the reform and opening up, with the endless flowing of international well-known catering enterprises into the Chinese market, the Chinese catering industry gradually have a sense of crisis. After years of development, Chinese catering industry obtains some achievements. While in contrast to international catering enterprises, there is a big gap, especially in the aspect of health safety.

Because of the low entry threshold of Chinese catering industry and the flowing of a number of enterprises, the operation of some enterprises in the industry doesn't follow the standards, i.e., the low service quality and the health safety are big problems. A related responsible person of Chinese Cuisine Association introduces that the Chinese catering industry has five health safety problems at present.

Firstly, there is the qualification problem. The phenomenon of operation without licenses of catering enterprises is universal. Without transacting any licenses, some small-sized restaurants, street vendors, community networks run the business. Production staff contacting with food do not have the Health Certificate; because the canteens of companies where people work are not open to the outside world, so it is no need to get the business license and certification of authority, which is the blank point of health problems.

Secondly, there is the problem of raw materials. The channels of purchasing of merchandises are in chaos. Enterprises do not purchase the reassuring raw materials in the appointed units of the Department of Health and even process food by using bad raw materials, such as the oil of sewer and so on. Moreover, they may adulterate and forge, as well as use inedible raw material additives.

Thirdly, there are problems of packing and transportation. A one-off package is used for a second time, the one-off tableware and used packs are all recycled.

Fourthly, there are health condition worries in production. People are worried about the health conditions of many small-sized restaurants, where are no preparing rooms of cold dishes, the mixing of raw and cooked food, the cross contamination for using the same chopping block, etc.

Finally, there is the regulatory issue. Because the catering industry develops quickly, the strength of regulatory departments is far from enough. The catering industry covers a wide range of areas, and many government's departments are in charge of the health management. However, without the leadership of a central government, the poor management often occurs. In terms of punishment, the general punishment methods are predominated by rectification and penalty, which is insufficient deterrent against violators.

The above-mentioned problems do not cover all the health safety problems of the Chinese catering industry. To properly deal with the health safety problems, the government, merchants and customers should jointly try hard.

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