Chinese target small producers' food safety standards

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Milk

A four-month campaign to restore the tarnished image of Chinese food products and ingredients in the wake of the melamine scandal will begin this week, according to the government in Beijing.

Its aim will be to ensure all food products are free of non-edible substances and excessive levels of additives. The campaign, to be organized jointly by nine central government departments, will be divided into three phases.

During phase one, which will run until January 10, food companies are being asked to assess their procedures and correct any deficiencies. Phase two, from January 11 to March 10, will involve law enforcement officers investigating high-risk food producers or regions, and intensify random checks on markets.

The final phase, from March 11 to April 10, will concentrate on illegal food-additive producers with the aim of halting the supply of high-risk non-food substances.

Processed meat

The investigations will target protein rich food, such as processed meat, dairy products and sauces, according to Pu Changcheng, deputy director of the government’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine department.

He is quoted on the Chinese government’s official website as saying: “The investigation will specifically focus on products made by small food factories as they are often under supervised and do not have a self-discipline system.”

About 70 per cent of China’s 500,000 food processing firms are small-scale with fewer than 10 employees, he pointed out.

Food inspectors will check specifically for illegal substances in food products such as the dyes Sudan Red and Malachite Green.

Food additives

About 2,000 food additives have been approved by the China Food Additives and Ingredients Association.

“We will learn from the baby formula case​,” pledged Changcheng.

The campaign follows the Ministry of Health’s decision earlier this month to publish a blacklist of food additives that could be harmful.

Meanwhile, Bejing is preparing a​compensation package for individuals contaminated with melamine, said the tainted milk victims, said a government official.

Milk powder and other dairy products contaminated with melamine sickened nearly 295,000 infants and probably killed six, according to the government website.

Related topics Processing & packaging

Related news

Follow us


View more