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Food Safety: A Lasting, Joint Effort among City Agencies

Food Safety: A Lasting, Joint Effort among City AgenciesOn April 15, Mayor Ko Wen-je attended a fair spotlighting the issue of food safety.
 
According to Ko, food safety has been a concern for the public and for the past three years, the city government has placed great emphasis on ensuring food safety through cross-departmental collaborations. The food safety fair presents the cumulative results of efforts over the past years, said the mayor.
 
He noted that the Food Safety Committee was set up under his administration to address food safety issues. Regarding the drafting of the Food Safety Self-governance Ordinance of Taipei, the city government also sought professional advice from experts in related fields spanning industry, toxicology, and public health.
 
For the past three years, 26 related polices have been approved and that the principle is making standards workable and implementing them step by step. The mayor believes that the key is the creation of practical and attainable standards. For example, food companies are required to report to competent authorities with 24 hours and recall problematic products within 48 hours after a problem has been identified; meal box vendors and tea companies with a capital of NT$ 5 million or more should perform self-inspections on a routine basis.
 
The mayor stressed that ensuring food safety is not the sole responsibility of Department of Health, but rather, it is a shared responsibility among many agencies, including Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Education, and Market Administration Office. That is why a food safety officer is assigned to coordinate staff from different agencies. The close working relationship with Taipei District Prosecutors Office and Shi-Lin District Prosecutors Office is also vital in combating adulterated foods, added the mayor.