Only off-line catering businesses with bricks-and-mortar restaurants and proper business licenses are allowed to offer on-line catering and ordering services, a new regulation said Friday.
Online catering and ordering services should be subject to the same rules as off-line restaurants, said the regulation issued by the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA).
This regulation will put in question the business futures of online platforms that allow clients to order food from individuals cooking in their own kitchens.
"Once a catering service is found breaking laws and regulations, the administration will inform online order platforms, which then should suspend this business from their networks," the document said.
Order-taking platforms are required to develop a food safety control system, examine, register and publish operational permits and other key information of all catering services that join the networks.
Food delivery staff are asked to maintain personal hygiene, use clean and safe containers and prevent food contamination, while employers should provide proper training and tools, especially for foods that require special preservation such as refrigeration.
The regulation will take effect on Jan. 1 next year.