Safe food is a fun­da­men­tal: peo­ple want, and need, to know that ev­ery bite of food they take is safe to eat.’’

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

The scan­dals also have pre­sented op­por­tu­ni­ties for US and other for­eign-based com­pa­nies to help tackle the coun­try’s food-safety prob­lems with prod­ucts, ser­vices and ex­per­tise that range from pest man­age­ment to hand hy­giene.

Com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Eco­lab, AIB and NSF In­ter­na­tional have es­tab­lished oper­a­tions in China to pro­vide train­ing, food prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and pro­grams to de­velop new or im­proved test­ing pro­ce­dures. US aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions also have part­nered with their Chi­nese coun­ter­parts and the gov­ern­ment to help China im­prove food reg­u­la­tion.

Among the most high-pro­file food scan­dals that have be­sieged Chi­nese con­sumers in re­cent years oc­curred in 2008. Pow­dered baby milk and other dairy prod­ucts were found to con­tain dan­ger­ously high lev­els of the in­dus­trial chem­i­cal melamine. The in­ci­dent left at least six ba­bies dead and more than 300,000 ill.

US-based com­pa­nies also have been tarred by scan­dal. Last sum­mer work­ers at KFC and McDon­ald’s meat sup­plier Shang­hai Husi Food Co – a unit of US-based OSI Group LLC – were shown in a tele­vi­sion re­port reusing meat that had fallen to the fac­tory floor, as well as mix­ing fresh and ex­pired meat. Wal-Mart Stores, the world’s largest re­tailer, re­called don­key meat sold at some out­lets in China last year af­ter tests showed the prod­uct con­tained fox meat.

Food safety is not a China-on­lyprob­lem. As global trade has moved into the food chain, coun­tries have found it dif­fi­cult to main­tain a food safety net with prod­ucts com­ing in from all corners of the world.

The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) es­ti­mates that glob­ally food and wa­ter-borne dis­eases lead to about 2.2 mil­lion deaths an­nu­ally. WHO said that a study in 2011 showed that in China alone more than 94 mil­lion peo­ple be­come ill from bac­te­ria food-borne dis­ease ev­ery year, with ap­prox­i­mately 3.4 mil­lion hos­pi­tal­iza­tions and more than 8,500 deaths.

“Many places in the world have food safety prob­lems. It hap­pens in ev­ery coun­try, not just in China,” said Pa­trick Wall, co-chair­man of the In­ter­na­tional Ex­pert Panel on Food Safety at the In­ter­na­tional Union of

“There are two big food safety is­sues in China,” Meng told China Daily. “One is is­sues with con­tam­i­nants in cer­tain prod­ucts and the use of low qual­ity in­gre­di­ents in or­der to meet pro­duc­tion goals or to help the profit level. Another is safety in food han­dling, pro­cess­ing and trans­porta­tion.”

Not­ing that China has more than 1.3 bil­lion mouths to feed ev­ery day (more than four times that of the US), Meng said that “Safety is al­ways go­ing to be a chal­lenge when you have to pro­vide that much food.”

Meng said China of­fers US com­pa­nies and col­leges and univer­si­ties nu­mer­ous op­por­tu­ni­ties to help the gov­ern­ment im­ple­ment new and in some cases im­proved food-safety pro­ce­dures.

Be­cause food safety is so vi­tal to both the US and China, Meng said the op­por­tu­nity is there to ex­tend the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship by en­abling the US to teach China how to pro­duce safe food on a mass scale, to con­duct in­spec­tions with in­tegrity and to de­velop ac­cu­rate risk assess­ments to head off po­ten­tial prob­lems.

AIB In­ter­na­tional started out as the Amer­i­can In­sti­tute of Bak­ing, a not-for-profit cor­po­ra­tion founded by North Amer­i­can whole­sale and re­tail bak­ers in 1919 to im­prove tech­nol­ogy for bak­ers and food pro­ces­sors.

The com­pany has ex­panded to help clients el­e­vate their food safety and pro­duc­tion process ca­pa­bil­i­ties by de­vel­op­ing and de­liv­er­ing ap­pli­ca­tion-ori­ented learn­ing, con­sult­ing, and value-added ser­vices. Based in Man­hat­tan, Kansas, and closely con­nected to Kansas State Univer­sity, AIB now has oper­a­tions in Africa, China, Ja­pan, Latin Amer­ica, Europe, and the Mid­dle East.

AIB set up an of­fice in Shang­hai in

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