Shanghai vows to secure quality of supplies sent to residents in static management
Authorities encourage residents to report spoiled food problems to hotline
Published: Apr 21, 2022 09:38 PM
Volunteers in Shanghai distribute commodities to residents Photo: VCG

Volunteers in Shanghai distribute commodities to residents. Photo: VCG

Shanghai on Thursday vowed to tackle the quality problems concerning the supplies of food and personal protective goods like masks sent to local residents amid static management. The move came after some of the food was revealed to be expired or produced by unqualified companies.  

The city's market regulators have detected some problems in the commodities either during regular supervision or by receiving residents' reports. The problems are mainly quality problems related to fresh food, Yin Xin, spokesperson of the Shanghai municipal government, said during Thursday's press briefing.

Related authorities will crack down on illegal cases with zero tolerance, Yin said, encouraging Shanghai residents to report such problems via the 12315 consumer complaint hotline.

The responses came after some Shanghai residents took to social media platforms to say that they had received some problematic food in the distributed commodities from local authorities or what they purchased, for example, rotten vegetables, stale meat or rice noodles that were produced by manufacturers without certifications.

In one example, some residents in Yangpu district revealed that the pork they purchased seemed to smell bad.   

These topics triggered heated discussion on Chinese social media platforms. 

Amid the complaints, the Shanghai market watchdog issued a guideline to strengthen safety management for purchasing and distributing fresh food, and it also analyzed the possible problems and loopholes in the procurement, storage, transportation and distribution of fresh food, in order to prevent the occurrence of similar cases, Tao Ailian, an official from the Shanghai market watchdog, said on Wednesday. 

Along with market regulators, the public security, procuratorate and other related authorities all strengthened crackdowns on the illegal activities. 

The Minhang market regulator on Thursday said it has started an investigation over a firm providing copycat products and disqualified soy sauce for residents, which violated food safety regulations. 

The Pudong district authority launched an investigation into problems related to goods they distributed to residents, which were revealed online starting on Wednesday. 

A hashtag reading "Pudong district launched investigation into quality problems of commodity packages" had been viewed more than 160 million times as of Thursday afternoon.

Yangpu police said on Wednesday that they had investigated the case and arrested a suspect, surnamed Tong, 41, for selling stale meat to local residents. The case involved an amount of over 320,000 yuan ($49,853). 

Chen Bin, a Century Mart subsidiary store manager in Jinshan district, which has curbed virus transmission within communities, told the Global Times on Thursday that it strictly controls product quality by offering goods from well-known brands, and it established a no-contact mechanism to ensure delivery staff could send the products safely to residents.

The Global Times talked to some residents of Shanghai. Some said they indeed had received problematic food like stale pork or expired bread as exposed on the internet, but some others said that they have received well-arranged products such as coffee and cooking oil from time-honored brands.

"We appreciate the local authorities that dispatch these goods to us," a 35-year-old resident surnamed Yang told the Global Times.