National Restaurant Association (NRA) representatives traveled to China last month to promote food safety, according a recent update by the association.

A recent update by NRA said the trip was as an opportunity to “further discuss the importance of food safety training” with both industry and government.

“We are pleased to continue to develop our presence in China with our partner Ecolab and share best practices for food safety training,” said David Matthews, senior vice president of the National Restaurant Association. “As the U.S. restaurant industry gets more connected to international markets, it’s more important than ever to focus on food safety. American restaurant companies with locations abroad are very focused on delivering the same high quality meals whether guests dine in New York City, Beijing or Rio de Janeiro. Programs like our ServSafe International can help them deliver that.”

According to NRA, Ecolab signed an agreement with the China Chain Store & Franchise Association (CCFA) to provide the ServSafe International Manager Program to its customers.  ServSafe is a food safety training and certification program administered by NRA and Ecolab is the exclusive distributor the group’s international program in China.

Annika Stensson of the NRA writes: “In addition, NRA and Ecolab China met with representatives from the State Food and Drug Administration, China’s regulatory body for restaurants and food safety, and its Institute of Executive Development (SFDAIED), which oversees the curriculum and implementation of food safety and other training programs. Foodservice training is a relatively new function for the administration, which is looking to expand its services at both national and provincial levels. This meeting was a continuation of meetings held in May during NRA Show 2012, when SFDAIED representatives visited the U.S.

“New Chinese regulations that provide direction for the overall framework of its food safety system were released in 2010, and more are being introduced in the near future. The NRA has agreed to share its expertise with the SFDAIED detailing how the United States regulatory system works for food safety training, supply chain food safety and restaurant inspections. The SFDAIED hopes to further develop its best practices and training programs for restaurant operations, inspections and food safety based on guidance from the NRA.”