University Summit in Kyushu 2007
Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, 27-28 October
Session 2 : The University as a Resource for Prosperous Local Communities

Prof. Quyuan YE
Deputy President, Shanghai Jiao Tong University


The Status and Progress on Food Safety in China


The food industry and the technologies used in food production and packaging are constantly evolving and driving the need for vigilance in the food safety system. Trends in food production, transportation, storage, and consumption have brought new public health concerns to the forefront. In recent years, food safety has become an important issue of increasing concern for consumers, food industries and related academic institutions, governments as well as international organizations. Adhering to the people-oriented approach, the Chinese government has always attached great importance to food safety. As food safety is a major benchmark of the economic development and peoplefs living conditions of a country, especially World Expo 2010 Shanghai and Olympic Games 2008 Beijing are approaching, China is urgently in need of a sound and effective food safety control and assurance system. To address this issue, both the Chinese Central and Shanghai governments have devoted great efforts to improve food safety and carried out a series of determined actions.

To ensure food safety, the Chinese government has formed a regulatory format in which the local governments take the responsibility, related departments provide guidance and conduct coordination, and different sectors make concerted efforts under the unified national leadership. The joint meeting mechanism in food safety administration is settled among the related departments, and regular meetings have been held, in which food safety information was communicated, and renovation was urged. With sticking to the principle of nipping problems in the bud, China has established and improved a supervisory system and mechanism for food safety, strengthened legislation and the setting of relevant standards, exercised strict quality control regarding food, actively promoted international exchanges and cooperation in this respect, and has greatly raised public awareness of food safety. Thanks to such efforts, the overall level of food quality in China is being steadily enhanced, the situation of food safety is continuously improving, and the order in food production and operation have markedly turned for the better.

Shanghai government is establishing a food safety assurance system including the following:
(1) Establishment of local laws, rules, and regulations related to food safety especially for World Expo 2010 Shanghai; (2) Development of standards for food entering markets, and evaluation and certification of food related enterprises; (3) Establishment of a food safety information database, along with a traceability system; (4) Establishment of Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Food Safety; (5) Research on critical testing technologies and establishment of an on-site rapid testing center; (6) Establishment of a food risk analysis, risk alert and emergency response system.

Shanghai Jiaotong University is combining related research groups from several schools to strengthen the food safety program. Some recent accomplishments will be discussed including molecular ecology, bioinformatics and effective interventions for foodborne pathogens; pathogen modeling and risk analysis; rapid, sensitive technologies for the detection of pathogens, chemical residues and mycotoxins. Foodborne pathogens are one of the major hazards that affect food safety, and it is important to understand the systematical knowledge on their growth and distribution in nature. The development of molecular detection technology is one of the most promising rapid detection methods. Therefore, the focuses of investigations in the food safety program at our university are on the issues of molecular ecology and the development of molecular detection methods for important foodborne pathogens. In recent years, more than 3000 bacterial strains of Salmonella spp., Staphylococcus aureas, L. monocytogenes, V. parahaemolyticus and pathogenic E. coli were isolated and collected from foods, agriculture products and clinics through the cooperation with other institutions. The analysis of gene diversity, important functional genes and their regulation mechanisms have been carried out for some of these foodborne pathogens. Fluorescence PCR (FPCR) with molecular beacon and TaqMan-MGB probes, multiplex PCR, internal standard PCR and DNA microarray techniques have been developed at our university for the pathogen detection.

Contact in food safety program: Prof. Xian-Ming Shi, Ph.D., Bor Luh Food Safety Center,
Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200240, China.
Phones: (8621)34206616(O), 54863243(H); Fax: 34206616; Email: