On Friday, Baidu and Ele me, the two main online platforms for takeaway food in Beijing, launched a system that requires their food providers to disclose the ingredients and nutritional information of their food. Beijing News comments:
The two platforms said that by doing so they hope to minimize the chances of food allergies. They also made it clear that if any customer finds the food they ordered contains ingredients different from the disclosure, the customer has the right to return it and complain.
Their move came after the regulatory measures were introduced by the Beijing Food and Drug Administration, which adhere to the national regulation on online food services that came into effect on Jan 1. This requires online fast food providers to disclose the main ingredients of their products online.
Some have questioned the seriousness of food allergies, but data show that about 3 percent of allergies are to particular foods and in extreme cases they can cause death. By disclosing the ingredients of the foods, the new system helps customers better avoid having food to which they are allergic.
The system has already been launched, now it needs to be implemented, since according to the most recent surveys, the percentage of food providers disclosing the ingredients of their food on the two platforms is rather low.
Law enforcers and market supervisors must be strict in enforcing the new regulation, and Baidu and Ele me, the two companies running the online platforms must raise awareness of the new requirement among their outlets.
Moreover, the new system is effective only in Beijing. We hope more platforms in other cities nationwide will follow suit, for the food safety of all.