Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Food Safety Insurance Offered

Haiyan County in Zhejiang Province is offering subsidized insurance against food safety incidents at rural banquets. The insurance covers victims of food safety incidents at group meals. It covers the personal injury, death, hospitalization, or burns of victims. It protects chefs against liability for negligence resulting in food poisoning, other food-borne illness, or foreign matter in food affecting five or more people.

The insurance premium is 10 yuan per table, with half paid by the district government.

According to the local food and drug monitoring bureau, there have been food safety incidents at rural banquets in recent years that threatened social stability. The local food safety monitoring officials say they came up with the pilot insurance system after conducting an assessment and gathered suggestions and arranging for an insurance company to participate. Food safety insurance pilots have already been underway in urban areas of the county for three months and are now being extended to villages.

Actually, the State Council ordered the establishment of a food safety responsibility insurance system in an October 2013 revised draft of the Food Safety Law issued by the . Quite a few provinces and localities are now offering the insurance.

Jiangsu Province was chosen to be a pilot province for offering food safety insurance five years ago. Jiangsu's Industrial and Commercial Bureau signed a contract with Jiangsu Chang'an Insurance Co. in 2008 to offer food safety insurance as a demonstration project. This insurance covers food production, distribution, and service establishments. Since September 2012, 3.3 million yuan in premiums have been collected, covering nearly 1000 companies. There have been claims for 14 incidents involving 610 people.

In November 2013, about a dozen people in Jiangsu's Taicang City were poisoned by spoiled food at a restaurant. The local government instructed the insurance company to launch emergency measures, sending people to visit the victims in the hospital and pay out 22,495 yuan in compensation.

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