Beijing pledges to strengthen regulation of online catering platforms to ensure food safety, the municipal food and drug administration said.
Supervision over the platforms will include checking business licenses and health certificates and, more importantly, the quality of ingredients and health conditions of cooks of the restaurants on the platforms, the administration announced on Wednesday, World Consumer Rights Day, also known as "3.15" in China.
Thirty-four restaurants have recently been ordered to withdraw from waimai.meituan.com, one of the most popular such platforms in China, for selling cold dishes without a license, said Li Jiang, head of the food market regulation office of the administration.
The administration will launch spot checks on food safety of the restaurants and order them to post pictures of their kitchens and cooking process on the platforms, according to Li.
A restaurant rating system will be introduced on the platforms, so that customers can choose higher rated ones, Li added. According to statistics, Beijing has five online food ordering and delivery services, including waimai.meituan and waimai.baidu, with altogether 67,000 restaurants on them.
China has adopted strict food safety regulations in recent years, but the proliferation of kitchens and restaurants riding the e-commerce boom has made supervision more difficult.
The food safety watchdog in Ningbo City in east China's Zhejiang Province said it will introduce a supervision system for the online catering sector using big data techniques that can collect information on more than 10,000 restaurants in an hour.