Tue, Jun 13, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Universiade food safety in place

RETRACTED ROOF:Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said the city would need to consider adding a roof to the new tennis center after a lowered budget forced design changes

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

People play tennis yesterday at the Taipei Tennis Center in Neihu District.

Photo: CNA

A budget of more than NT$2.4 million (US$79,533) and about 8,000 inspection shifts have been arranged to ensure food safety during this year’s Summer Universiade, the Taipei Department of Health said yesterday.

Department Commissioner Huang Shier-chieg (黃世傑), who is also head of the Universiade’s medical division, said a food safety management plan that was sent to the International University Sports Federation in February has been approved.

He said the three stages of the plan include “sanitation workshops and guidance,” “sanitation inspection and examination” and “reporting and handling suspected food poisoning” at the athletes’ village and venue surroundings.

The department is to cooperate with the health departments of New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Hsinchu City and Hsinchu County during the games to deploy 8,000 shifts to ensure food safety, Huang said.

A total of 8,793 people have already participated in 104 sanitation workshops, he added.

The Universiade is to be the first major sports competition in the nation to introduce the rapid ractopamine residue test to prevent athletes’ drug tests from being affected by their consumption of meat with traces of the leanness-enhancing feed additive, the department said.

Other rapid tests are to also be used to examine a variety of food ingredients, it added.

As the legal limit for ractopamine in imported beef is 0.01 parts per million, the Universiade is to implement a higher standard to remove all meat products found to contain the additive, it said.

The Taipei and New Taipei City health departments are also to monitor the catering division for 20 hours every day of the games, it said.

To prevent terror attacks through food, Huang said the security, catering and food safety divisions have developed prevention strategies to enhance control over catering personnel, management of food supplies and on-site sanitation inspections.

Separately yesterday, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) invited President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to visit the newly constructed Taipei Tennis Center in the city’s Neihu District (內湖) in preparation for the upcoming Universiade.

After Tsai and Ko listened to a report about the venue, they sat together to watch a match.

In response to an inquiry about Tsai’s surprise that the center court does not have a roof, Ko said that since the budget was cut, modifications were made to the design.

Ko said he felt hot sitting in the audience during the match, so the city government would have to think about how to improve ventilation, as well as whether a roof should be added.

The city government said that the original budget allocated for constructing the center was about NT$3.3 billion, but considering the number of sports viewers in Taiwan and the venue’s management after the Universiade, the budget was adjusted to about NT$1.9 billion in 2013.

The number of seats for center court was reduced from about 10,000 to 4,000, the retractable roof was removed and the number of outdoor courts was reduced from 14 to 10, it said, adding that the center still has four indoor courts for rainy day matches.

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