FINA Meets With Food Safety Experts Ahead of Summer's World Championships

Amid concerns about the quality of health and food safety measures in Shanghai for this summer’s World Championships, FINA has met with food safety experts in hopes of setting a firm plan to keep athletes healthy. Among the bigger issues were accusations that clenbuterol, a banned substance that was responsible for Jessica Hardy’s one-year suspension, is so prevalent in the Chinese food supply that all of the athletes would end up with positive tests at the World Championships. There were also trepidations about food safety and cleanliness making athletes sick, especially following the issues from October’s Commonwealth Games in India. Similar concerns were present for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, but the presence of an Athletes Village made controlling food preparation much more feasible there. the FINA World Championships has no such village.

The following is a full and unedited news release from FINA.org:

The Organising Committee of the 14th FINA World Championships had a meeting with food safety experts on the morning of April 26, 2011. Invited guests were Chen Junshi, member of Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering; Peter Ben Embarek, Department of Food Safety of WHO’s office in China; Wu Moutian, member of Doping Control Review Board of FINA and Deputy Director General,China Anti-Doping Agency and five other food safety and doping control experts.

After hearing the OC’s introduction of the general food safety plan and relevant measures, as well as food-borne doping prevention measures, the experts had an unanimous opinion that the food safety assurance system established by the OC is complete and efficient; the principle of ensuring food safety by preventing contamination at source and keep the supervised entities enclosed is well observed, and food safety assurance and food-borne doping prevention measures are effective. The OC has established a food supervision system that covers the whole process from farm to fork, and selected the food enterprises with sound food safety quality control system as the food suppliers of the Championships so as to ensure food safety and prevent food-borne doping.

Experts gave the following suggestions to the OC:

1) Give a priority to the prevention of microbial contamination of food
2) All food safety supervision authorities should monitor the chain of processes
3) The enterprises should record the chain of custody for their supplies and keep all relevant files. The supervision authorities should perform efficient inspection and keep the record for their activity
4) Prevent contamination from the beginning of the production  and  stop any illegal addition to food
5) Intensify inspection to designated food suppliers and hotels, and further improve the measures taken according to the inspection result

The OC will further improve the working plan of food safety assurance according to the experts’ suggestions and implement the food safety measures.

For more information on the Food Safety Measures, please see the following link.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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