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Author Topic: Shanghai to issue daily food poisoning risk alert  (Read 656 times)
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« on: December 26, 2008, 12:23:15 AM »

SHANGHAI -- Daily bacterial food-poisoning risk alerts based on temperature and humidity will be issued to residents in Shanghai via media and e-mail from next year.

The Shanghai food and drug administration and Shanghai meteorological bureau planned to jointly launch the system on a trial basis in April 2009.

"Bacterial growth is closely related to temperature and humidity, and the April to October period is the peak season for bacterial food poisoning, because the temperature ranges between 20 and 40 C, and humidity is usually high then," Shanghai food and drug administration deputy director Li Jie said on Wednesday.

Research by the two departments found a strong relationship between relative humidity and bacterial food poisoning when assessing mass food poisoning cases in the city between 1992 and 2007. The study also found the type and acidity of foods played a role.

The system will use color-coded risk levels. A red alert will indicate a bacterial food poisoning risk of at least 25 percent, while a yellow alert will mean a 15 to 24 percent risk. No alert will be issued if the risk is low, the organizations said.

"Most mass food poisoning cases in 2007 and 2008 occurred within three days of red- or yellow-alert conditions," Yuan Zhaohong, vice-director of the Shanghai meteorological bureau, said.

Officials said the alerts will be sent to local food authorities, restaurants, food producers, school cafeterias and residents. They will also feature information on how to prepare food based on weather conditions and will be included in local weather reports before the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
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