Total food safety ensured at Beijing Olympics

A top Chinese product quality official said Monday that an "all-out effort" was made to ensure the safety of the food supply at next summer's Beijing Olympics.

The country's product safety woes have included instances of food tainted with chemicals, preservatives or drugs, but authorities have launched an aggressive campaign to clean up and better regulate the industry.

"An all-out effort is being made to ensure food security for the Games and prevent the import of unsafe food materials into Beijing," said Wei Chuanzhong, the deputy minister of the General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

Measures to ensure food safety at the highly anticipated Beijing Olympics include having plans in place in case of a biochemical terrorist attack or other emergency, Wei said, without providing details.

He also cited a food supervision cooperation agreement signed between his agency, the Beijing government and the Olympics organizing committee.

Reporters were taken on a tour Monday, arranged by Olympics organizers, showing the positive side of China's food processing industry.

Workers in head-to-toe white uniforms grabbed chicken quarters from a conveyor belt and split them into drumsticks and thighs at the Beijing Huadu Broiler factory. At another processing plant on the tour, whole pigs hung from meat hooks as workers gutted and cleaned them.

"Regardless of whether it's during the Olympics, or before or after the event, (the chicken) is going to meet all the same standards," said Huadu General Manager She Feng, addressing consumer concerns that Olympic athletes will eat high quality food that is unavailable in regular markets.

Olympics organizers recently denied media reports that said special pigs were being raised for the Games, fed herbal medicine to ward off illness and exercised two hours a day. Officials said news of the pampered pigs were efforts by the producer to promote itself.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova