(Yicai Global) March 14 -- Shanghai's 'bright kitchen' program, launced in September, has covered more than 2,000 caterers in the city to date and is now upgrading its system to incorporate video braodcasting, showing China's plan to improve food safety is becoming effective.
The program was first implemented in Shanghai's Pudong New Area and has extended its coverage to 730 restaurants from 200, of which more than 70 percent have installed new equipment and launched video broadcasts from their kitchen.
The region took the lead in upgrading the original bright kitchens from low partition walls and transparent glass walls to including a video and network display, said Wu Haifeng, a person in charge at the Pudong Market Supervision Administration. The low partitions were to allow guests to see into the kitchen, he said, but this approach is limited and more suitable to Western food which uses simple processes and less cooking oil.
In order to let customers eat with their minds at ease, the bright kitchen approach has become a broadcast, where third party firms will install video systems for free. Some pilot units initially put cameras in key areas, namely the cold dish room, heating room, pre-cooked food room and dessert area, allowing regulators and consumers to see what goes on behind the scenes.
Since the beginning of the year, the program has piloted in restaurants in Shanghai and extended to more than 2000 catering units to date. Some 505 of the 730 Pudong restaurants have now upgraded to video broadcasting. Shanghai plans to promote the program to all medium-sized and larger hotels and introduce video broadcasting to companies, institutions and schools within the next few years.