Press conference on forestalling inbound transmissions, strengthening supervision over imported cold-chain food

The Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council held a press conference on July 10, 2020 in Beijing to brief the media on measures to forestall inbound COVID-19 transmissions and strengthen supervision over imported cold-chain food. July 14, 2020

The Cover:

What specific measures have the SAMR taken to reinforce the oversight of food safety issues? Thank you.

Dang Qianying:

Thank you for your question. To ensure food safety, the SAMR has meticulously implemented the deployments made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and has adopted several measures to prevent, manage and control the risks endangering food safety. Strict penalties on violations of the relevant laws and regulations were imposed to prevent systematic food safety problems. Since the beginning of this year, we have launched random inspections targeting several major foodstuffs belonging to our "Rice Parcels" and "Vegetable Baskets" programs. Among the 54,000 batches of samples collected, 428 batches of substandard foods were discovered, indicating a 99.21% pass rate, or 0.79% which was not up to standard. By dealing with the substandard foods in a timely manner, we have guaranteed safe food and beverages for the people.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, we have improved regulatory and supervisory measures to focus on major products, venues and processes.

First, we have improved our regulatory and supervisory approaches. The SAMR has introduced a series of regulations, such as the Routine Supervision Measures on Food Production and Operation, Measures for the Food Production and Business Operation Risk Classification, and Food Safety Management Specifications for Catering Industry. In March, we issued the Proclamation on Enhancing the Management Regarding the Safety of Cold and Frozen Foods, requiring cold and frozen food suppliers to report related information. Under the announcement, all producers and operators are required to undertake examination, supervision and process management of stored foods and food carriers. These approaches can improve the management of food safety as well as prevent the spread of the epidemic.

Second, we have urged market entities to be held responsible for ensuring food safety. Food producers and operators should strictly examine their commodities, asking for necessary certificates and receipts, before allowing access to stocks of those purchased foods. They are also required to establish systematic regulations on personnel health management and follow food processing regulations and standardized utensil disinfection. Strict penalties were imposed on those who violated the laws and regulations.

Third, we have strengthened regulatory and supervisory law enforcement. The SAMR has stipulated that the market should investigate and seize livestock and poultry meat without quarantine certificates, seafood without places of origin certificates or receipts, as well as food made from substandard agricultural products. In addition, we have also raised awareness among food producers and operators, informing them to act on personal hygiene prevention and protection measures. Thank you.

Hu Qiangqiang:

Last question, please.

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