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

Southern Metropolis Daily:

How does China regulate imported food? Are there any risks of novel coronavirus transmission via imported food? How do we assess risks in this regard? Thank you.

Dang Qianying:

Thanks for your questions. Market regulators attach great importance to the quality and safety of imported food, and work together with the General Administration of Customs (GAC) to establish an interlocking mechanism regarding the division of labor and cooperation, as well as information communication. Food products available on the domestic market, whether produced at home or imported, are strictly supervised in accordance with provisions of the Food Safety Law. In the first half of this year, the qualified rate of sampling inspection for imported food sold in the domestic market reached 99.25%. Quality safety is generally stable, therefore. The unqualified rate of 0.75% was mainly attributed to excessive amounts of pesticide and veterinary drug residues and their quality index failing to meet the standards. Market regulators have investigated and penalized any such violations of the laws and regulations. As for problems found and reported by the customs during the inspection of imported food, our market regulators will urge domestic dealers to take corresponding risk control measures in a timely manner, such as stopping sales, removing products from the shelves of sales outlets, recall, and proper disposal.

Just now, the GAC released basic information about the presence of novel coronavirus detected on samples of packaging of imported cold-chain food. According to the overall arrangement of the customs, the State Administration for Market Regulation will guide local market regulators and urge related distributors of the relevant products to immediately stop sales, remove them from the shelves of sales outlets, seal them up and then work with importers to recall the products etc. Thank you. 

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