Shanghai’s food watchdog has developed a monitoring system that is designed to capture any food hygiene transgressions made by production workers.
Surveillance cameras record scenes from the food production area and pick up details such as whether staff are wearing uniforms and masks and if they are disinfecting equipment and operating areas thoroughly. The film footage is then transferred to officials’ mobile phones via an app.
The authorities are also immediately alerted if the temperature of refrigerators, transport vehicles or manufacturing procedures fails to meet requirements since this could potentially cause food items to rot.
More than 90 per cent of the city’s food production companies have been fitted with the real-time surveillance system according to Chao Qiangguo, director of the food production and management department of the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration.
“Shanghai has more than 100 high-risk food manufacturing companies that mainly produce meat, infant formula and pre-packaged cold dishes,” said Chao. “Some of these firms use old production facilities or backward technology while others may have weak quality awareness.
“The target is to upgrade them all to include the automatic alerting function. The majority have already been provided with surveillance equipment which means that scenes from their kitchens, manufacturing workshops and assembly lines are being transferred to officials’ mobile phones through an app in real time.”
The district government has spent one million yuan (€127,000) in establishing the remote video surveillance system.