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After Baby Milk Scandal, China Launches Food Industry Safety System

The Chinese Industry Ministry has created a new system for monitoring information on all companies that produce food. With awards to the best and a black list for the worst, it is a long-awaited response to a 2008 scandal involving tainted baby milk.

Workers canning tangerines at the Huangyan No 1 Canned Food Factory
Workers canning tangerines at the Huangyan No 1 Canned Food Factory

Worldcrunch *NEWSBITES

BEIJING - After a series of scandals involving tainted food, including cooking oil made from sewage and poisonous baby milk, the Ministry of Industry has decided to strengthen the management of food safety in China.

The Ministry announced this week it is setting up a so-called "Food Industry Credit System," which puts in place a nationwide information platform to promote safety regulation and supervision of the nearly ten thousand food processing companies in China.

After a huge scandal erupted in 2008 when melamine additives were found in baby milk and formula, leading to the death of six infants, the Ministry of Industry has been working on a long-term plan to consolidate the responsibility for the food industry – and to improve its image, Zu Hongzen, the Chief Engineer of the Ministry said.

The new public platform will collect and disseminate information about any company that is in the food-producing business. The platform will give awards to trustworthy companies as well as regularly publishing a black list of the untrustworthy businesses.

Since last year, the Ministry of Industry has already started testing the system in the dairy and meat processing business.

The first half of this year, the Ministry has launched this platform in a further 23 provinces, focusing in the condiments, winery, beverages and canned-food industries. It has also conducted a special staff training course for 3,300 people from companies in different provinces around China.

A source at the Industry Ministry said 4,000 more companies will enter a credibility management system this year. But what will likely be most welcomed: infant milk powder companies are all being made to comply.

*Read the original article in full in Chinese by Zhang Xiangdong

Photo - (everyone)

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations of the original text.

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When Racism Poisons Italy's Culinary Scene

This is the case of chef Mareme Cisse, a black woman, who was called a slur after a couple found out that she was the one who would be preparing their meal.

Photo of Mareme Cisse cooking

Mareme Cisse in the kitchen of Ginger People&Food

Caterina Suffici


TURIN — Guess who's not coming to dinner. It seems like a scene from the American Deep South during the decades of segregation. But this happened in Italy, in this summer of 2023.

Two Italians, in their sixties, got up from the restaurant table and left (without saying goodbye, as the owner points out), when they declared that they didn't want to eat in a restaurant where the chef was what they called: an 'n-word.'

Racists, poor things. And ignorant, in the sense of not knowing basic facts. They don't realize that we are all made of mixtures, come from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. And that food, of course, are blends of different ingredients and recipes.

The restaurant is called Ginger People&Food, and these visitors from out of town probably didn't understand that either.

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