Disclaimer: this article is an edited from the source material written by 蔡玮律EdgarChoi via 秒懂法律LawInAMinute.
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Food Safety Law And What To Do If You Get Sick By Take-Away Food Ordered By A Third Party Platform
Have you ever been in a situation where you ordered food from a third-party online food trading platform and the food you receive is inedible or just downright nasty? Or maybe you even got sick after eating it? Well, you have full right to complain to the restaurant, but what if the app you’re using doesn’t have the restaurant’s contact details listed?
In this situation, all of the responsibility legally falls onto the third-party platform. But why? The term “Privity of Contract,” to keep things simple, means your purchase from any vendor legally binds you to them. A simple act that you perform every day like buying coffee at your local cafe is also contractual behavior, however, the contract is not a formal one. Privity of contract means that a contract cannot confer rights or impose obligations upon any person who is not a party to the contract.
According to Food Safety law (in China), a third-party platform operator providing online food transaction services MUST review and supervise the vendors providing services through the platform. If a vendor infringes on the interests of the consumer, the third-party platform operator is obliged to assist the consumer in defending their legal rights. The third-party platform operator MUST also provide consumers with the real name, address and valid contact information of the food merchant. If the third-party platform operator is unable to do so, they shall be liable to compensate the consumer for their loss instead.
Food Safety Law In China:
The provider of a third-party online food trading platform shall register the legal names of food traders admitted to the platform and define their food safety management responsibilities; and check the permits of those that are required to obtain permits.
Where the provider of a third-party online food trading platform, in violation of this Law, fails to register the legal name of food traders admitted to the platform or examine their permits, or fails to fulfill its obligations such as reporting and ceasing providing online trading platform services, the food, and drug administrative department of the people’s government at or above the county level shall order it to take corrective action, confiscate its illegal income, and impose a fine of not less than 50,000 yuan but not more than 200,000yuan on it; if there is any serious consequence, it shall be ordered to cease operations, or its permit shall be revoked by the original permit-issuing department; and if any damage is caused to the lawful rights and interests of consumers, it shall assume joint and several liabilities with the food trader.
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