One of China's biggest challenges for the upcoming Olympic Games was making sure there was enough safe food for millions of visitors.
It's a big job, especially during the hot summer months when airborne illnesses are at their peak. China has been working on it for years with the help of an Auburn University professor.
Thousands of little computerized tracking labels helped to ensure China's Olympic food supply was safe. The labels cost about $100 dollars each. The GPS technology inside allowed food safety officials to know where food bound for the Olympics was at all times.
The clock and thermometer alerted officials to any temperature change of more than 5 degrees.
"How to ensure every food is safe ... it's a very, very difficult thing," says Dr. Yifen Wang, of Auburn University's Department of Biosystems Engineering.
Wang is on the international committee that started devising the half-million dollar tracking system in 2005.
China had to secure enough food for more than 7 million athletes, spectators and journalists. They pulled it in from all over the country.
In the past, China has come under fire for contaminated food exports, so Wang wanted to make sure all of the quality control data was readable anytime via computer using radio frequencies.
"There are 700-million farmers in China. It's very hard to control the quality," explains Wang.
Wang was born in Shanghai and came to the US in 1998.
He says Chinese food safety officials have drastically stepped up standards and tracked Olympic food from each individual farm through the processing plants into the Olympic Village. Mobile testing labs were in place at the village to double check for any problems. Wang was pleased with the way the system worked.
China needed 82 tons of seafood, 130 tons of meat, 19 tons of eggs and 330 tons of fruits and vegetables to feed everyone attending the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The US Olympic Team brought its own groceries to Beijing for the games...mainly 25-thousand pounds of lean protein. US athletes ate in their own training center, avoiding much of the local food at the Athletes Village.