ABSTRACT

Foodborne diseases are a burden in countries worldwide. Several countries have successfully implemented policies that establish innovative systems for the inspection and grading of food service establishments (FSEs), which have greatly contributed to a reduction in foodborne diseases. China's government has also responded by developing policies to protect consumers' food safety, including the routine inspection policy and the risk-based grading policy. However, implementation of both policies has been poor to date. The aim of this study was to identify regulatory challenges and design a smart supervision solution. The results of a national survey showed that the major barriers to policy implementation were a heavy individual workload, the high turnover rate of FSEs, lack of a monitoring and evaluation system, lack of social support, low development of food safety training programs in FSEs, and a lack of financing. A smart supervision solution to these challenges was designed based on mobile Internet and two-dimensional (2D) barcode technology. A pilot application in Jilin province assisted local supervisors in carrying out regulatory work on FSEs, which proved the feasibility of smart supervision. This study can be used as an example for food safety supervision in other regions, and it can assist other governments that wish to implement similar policies to ensure food safety in their countries.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • The implementation of food safety policies is hard in China.

  • A smart supervision solution improves the implementation of food safety policies.

  • The solution is cost-effective, easy to use, and credible.

  • The solution supports all stakeholders, e.g., companies, governments, and consumers.

  • The effectiveness of the solution has been proved by a real government project.

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