City to standardize ready-to-cook meals

Writer: Zhang Yu  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2022-08-08

The Shenzhen Administration for Market Regulation has begun drafting a set of standards for ready-to-cook meals after research, indicating that semi-prepared dishes will have Shenzhen standards, Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported yesterday.

In recent years, ready-to-cook meals have been gaining traction. Statistics from e-commerce platforms and showed that the sales of ready-to-cook meals increased by over 200% year on year during this year’s June 18 shopping festival.

A supermarket staffer places packages of ready-to-cook meals on a refrigerated shelf in this undated photo. Shenzhen Special Zone Daily

At present, there are over 68,000 enterprises related to ready-to-cook dishes in China. Shenzhen has over 2,000 businesses related to the ready-to-cook meal industrial chain, according to data from, a corporate credit information service provider.

While the ready-to-cook meal industry is developing rapidly, many industry-related problems have emerged. A number of deputies of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Congress (MPC) conducted several visits and investigations, and discovered that the product quality of ready-to-cook dishes from different producers were varied.

According to the data released by consumers associations, the number of complaints about ready-to-cook dishes has been rising in recent years. Major complaints include stale ingredients, poor taste and food deterioration from not being in cold storage.

Yuan Guihua, a deputy of the MPC, believes that as a migrant city, Shenzhen has its own distinctive characteristics in catering and strict standards for food safety, therefore it should establish production and sales standards for ready-to-cook dishes.

Yuan’s suggestion has been highly valued by the city’s market regulator. According to the administration, it will actively promote the research and formulation of standards for ready-to-cook meals. Enterprises and institutions participating in the standards formulation of ready-to-cook dishes will be funded in accordance with relevant regulations.

Yuan and other MPC deputies also suggest that the city should establish an open and transparent whole-process traceability system for ready-to-cook meals.