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Big Data Contributes to Food Safety Supervision in Guiyang, China

Foodie culture has blossomed in China for ages. A well-known Chinese proverb "the masses regard food as their prime want" could be the best proof. Based on the cultural background and people's health, the government has continuously attached great importance to the food safety issue, enacting relevant laws to avoid foodborne incidents.

In the current digital era, China has become a key player in modernized food safety approaches. Among the relevant modern technological advances, the big data analytics can be a case in point which provides effective solutions to food safety supervision.

Located in Southwest China, Guiyang has pushed back the frontiers of big data in recent years. As China's Big Data Valley, how has Guiyang embraced the big data solution to revolutionize the food safety regulatory system? The journalist of interviewed the stakeholders.

First and foremost, in order to avoid food safety hazards, there is a clear need to optimize the supply chain and remove contaminated food materials from the supply. Thus, Guiyang launched Agricultural Products Safety Traceability System, a data-driven platform to ensure safe food materials.

This big data system can record the relevant information of the agricultural products including place of origin, transportation and maintenance conditions. A QR code, which contains the mentioned information, will be accordingly stuck on the food materials.

Mr.Li Tao works for Guiyang Agricultural Bureau. He told the journalist of, "The advanced sensors, which allow for the real-time track of the produce, are installed in different steps of the supply chain. Therefore, food enterprises can monitor the soil, fertilizers and other factors on the farm. During the delivery, the big data platform also guarantees the food materials are well-preserved."

A great volume of food companies has harnessed the Guiyang Agricultural Products Safety Traceability System so far. "Just the area of fruit involved has reached 100 thousand mu (16 thousand acres), not to mention the whole agricultural products involved," he added.

It can be seen that the big data solution facilitates the food traceability from their point of origin to subsequent follow-up destinations across each level of the supply chain. If a problem arises, the department concerned can immediately identify where exactly the contamination occurred and deploy corrective actions.

This ensures safe food materials, which can prevent foodborne risks. Aside from the food materials, it is also necessary to raise safety awareness during the cooking process, especially in restaurants and dining halls.

Guiyang Erqi Road is a popular culinary destination, where the foodborne accidents frequently took place in the past. Ms.Hu Qiling, a chief of Market Supervision Administration of Nanming District said to, "The scattered, mobile vendors and restaurants on Erqi Road have caused serious safety concerns. However, the previous traditional supervision such as manual inspection could not make a difference to the food safety situation. "

By comparison, the current implementation of big data can avoid foodborne incidents to a significant extent. The Market Supervision Administration of Nanming District has constructed a big data platform for the sake of food safety supervision.

Owing to live data stemming from sensors installed in the restaurants, the Market Supervision Administration and the public can together monitor their environmental conditions, identify the restaurants that are likely to breach safety regulations and guarantee their cooking process is based on food safety guidelines.

"We have installed eight sensors in our restaurant. In addition to the environment, the department concerned and customers can also know our identification, ranking and rating on the data-driven platform. I think it motivates the food industry to emphasize the food safety issue," Mr.Feng Mingxiang, owner of Danjia Duck told

In addition to the restaurants, the local canteens on campus have also leveraged a similar big data supervision platform. Therefore, along with the campus, the Family Committee, Market Supervision Administration and the Education Bureau can form multi-party supervision to improve the supervision efficiency and avoid foodborne incidents.

In recent years, Guiyang advocates the intersection of big data and food safety supervision, which optimizes the food safety regulatory system to a great extent.

"In the past, the traditional manual inspection did result in the blind point of food safety supervision. By comparison, the big data solution has greatly reduced the manual efforts, improved the supervision efficiency and minimize the food safety hazards," said Liu Lei, director of the Nanming District Market Supervision Administration.

In 2019, the People's Government of Guizhou Province evaluated the food safety situation in the province. Guiyang was assessed as A-level, ranking first in the province. In addition, no major food safety accidents occurred throughout the year.

Over the past 70 years, Guiyang's market supervision has always been closely related to the country's reform and development. In the future, Guiyang will continuously take advantage of technological advances, especially big data to modernize social governance.



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