Introduction of the Wholesale Market Sanitary Inspection Station
Wholesale Market Sanitatary Inspection Station
Many types of food products are brought in large quantities into the Tokyo Metropolitan Wholesale Market from all over Japan and from abroad and it is the major food distribution center of Japan.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Wholesale Market is divided into two: The Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, and the Metropolitan Local Wholesale Market.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Wholesale Market Sanitary Inspection Station has jurisdiction over nine central wholesale markets of fisheries products, fruits and vegetables, and one local wholesale markets in Tokyo, and perform food sanitation inspection to keep the dietary life in Tokyo safe and rich.
Tokyo Metropolitan Wholesale Market Sanitary Inspection Station Organization and Jurisdictional Markets
Work of the Wholesale Market Sanitary Inspection Station
1 Functions and roles of the Wholesale Market Sanitary Inspection Station
The Wholesale Market Sanitary Inspection Station takes charge of ensuring the safety of food distributed through wholesale markets. A large amount of diverse foods come into and go out of wholesale markets every day. It is important to identify harmful or bad foods efficiently, and contain such foods within markets to prevent their purchase by general consumers.
Therefore, the station promotes on-site monitoring and supervision, as well as tests and inspections integrated under specialized knowledge and expertise, under the basic principle that harmful or bad food products should not be “put on”, “taken out of”, or “manufactured in the markets.” If violation of the law is found as a result of tests /inspections or monitoring/supervision, the station takes prompt and appropriate action to prevent the distribution of such food.
In this way, the Wholesale Market Sanitary Inspection Station is a centralized institution that takes charge of tests and inspections, monitoring and supervision, and administrative actions to violations and nonconforming actions as an important component of Tokyo Metropolitan food safety administration.
2 Major operations
1)Monitoring and supervision
Monitoring and supervision are important operations to ensure the safety of food and other materials coming into the markets, and shall be conducted from scientific viewpoints by “food sanitation inspector supervisors” stipulated by the Food Hygiene Law. The Wholesale Market Sanitary Inspection Station conducts early morning inspections and regular inspections in accordance with the types of market transaction, thereby eliminating harmful or bad food including poisonous fish, instructing food sanitation control to food businesses as necessary, and promoting the establishment of voluntary sanitation control.
2)Tests and inspections
There are diverse standards based on the Food Sanitation Law concerning food ingredients, the use of food additives, and others. The Wholesale Market Sanitary Inspection Station conducts tests and inspections to check that the applicable standards are satisfied. Such tests and inspections are the basis of scientific food administration. If scientific tests identify values exceeding stipulated standards, punitive actions may be taken against the relevant food businesses, such as the prohibition of the sale of violating foods.
The station also compiles inspection and research data collected through daily monitoring/supervision and test/inspection activities, feeding them back to future operations and the improvement of technical standards. In the end of every fiscal year, the station holds a “research presentation meeting” at which the results of thematic research activities are reported.
Such research results are mainly used for the improvement of voluntary sanitation control by food businesses.
4)Training and awareness raising
To ensure food safety at wholesale markets, it is necessary that not only those who handle food directly, but also the operators of food businesses should acquire and practice an appropriate knowledge of sanitation. The Wholesale Market Sanitary Inspection Station provides food sanitation training to food business operators in the markets and related associations, while raising the food safety awareness of general consumers through “food safety consultation services” at market festivals and other events.
The station also accepts trainees from other local governments, thereby contributing to the enhancement of laboratory skills and expertise on wholesale markets.
Introduction of the Wholesale Market Sanitatary Inspection Station
1.Early Morning Inspection
Based on the fist market principle “Harmful and bad food products should not be put on the market” food products that are brought into the market are inspected before distribution (before auctions) to remove any food in violation, bad products or toxic fish, and to ensure that food is handled sanitarily.
Early Morning Inspection
Inspectors inspect food products arranged on intermediate wholesaler shops after auction.
A duplication check, an early morning inspection and an ordinary inspection, is performed to prevent harmful and bad food products from being placed outside the market.
Inspection and guidance on manufacturing and processing facilities in the market are also provided at all times.
Consultation and questions raised by intermediate wholesalers are handled too.
Physicochemical examinations are performed to check whether food additives are used properly in processed foods, and to see whether environmental pollutants such as mercury and PCB in fish and shellfish or remaining agricultural chemicals in fruits and vegetables are within the standard limits.
Biological examinations involve bacterio logical examinations of fish and shellfish to be consumed raw and processed food, and virus examinations of shellfish such as bivalves, etc.
4.Training and awareness raising
Food Sanitation Seminar
As a measure against food poisoning, seminars are held during summer, when food poisoning occurs most frequently, for increasing awareness about food sanitation.
In winter, seminars on the handling methods for oysters or blowfish are held.
Food Sanitation Seminar
for raising awareness about sanitation
Publication of brochures
Issue “Food Sanitation of the Market,” a brochure containing the latest information on the market, throughout the year.
Publication of brochures
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