HANGZHOU, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in east China's Zhejiang province have recruited more than 1,000 volunteer food safety supervisors as part of the local government's efforts to tackle food safety issues.
The 1,008 volunteers will report violations of food safety laws and regulations, expose negligence on the part of government food safety regulators, publicize food safety knowledge and offer advice to food safety supervisory departments, according to officials from the provincial food safety commission.
The volunteers were selected from a large number of applicants from all walks of life, with ages ranging from 19 to 77, the officials said.
Zhejiang was the first province in China to establish local-level food safety laws and regulations. The regulations, which went into effect in last December, specify that a public supervisory mechanism for food safety must be established across the province with supervisors recruited from the public.
The move is intended to mobilize the society to help the government intensify food safety control, said Yan Dehua, an official from provincial food safety commission.
Yan said food safety is a long-standing problem in China, as food production companies are generally small in size, numerous and poorly managed, all of which make it difficult for the government to enforce relevant laws.
Volunteer Chen Guangzhong said the volunteers will "try every possible way" to discover food safety problems.
"We will frequently visit factories, supermarkets and other places where food safety problems may exist. If we see any violations, we will immediately report them to relevant departments," Chen said.