June 13/Beijing/Xinhua -- The State Council, China's Cabinet, laid out measures to improve food safety, including tighter supervision and harsh punishments for violators.

"It is an onerous task for the government to ensure food safety," as China's food industry is still suffering from unstandardized management and many hidden safety risks, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.

The government should enhance supervision by setting up an efficient mechanism that covers all links in the food industry and a rigid food recall and destroy system for defective products, the statement said.

The State Council has vowed a "harsh crackdown" on those endangering food safety, saying violators should be ensured penalties in accordance with laws and regulations.

Meanwhile, relevant policies, laws and regulations should be revised to increase costs for violators, according to the statement.

The State Council urged Chinese enterprise owners to accept primary responsibility in ensuring quality and safety, while government departments should enhance quality and safety monitoring.

More efforts should be taken to accelerate the establishment of a complete food safety standard and quality assessment mechanism to improve agencies' capabilities to conduct tests and issue emergency response in case of food scandals, it said.

A draft regulation on the management of government offices was also passed at the meeting to rein in extravagant expenditures and ensure frugal operation.

The draft regulation requires government agencies to integrate official overseas visits, public vehicles and maintenance and official receptions into their budget control, and devise spending plans for these items.

It also obliges government organs to publicize their budgets and expenditures on a regular basis.

A draft regulation on the building of handicapped-accessible public facilities was also approved at the executive meeting, said the statement.

 From the June 13, 2012, Prepared Foods’ Daily News