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


Recently, clusters of COVID-19 cases that emerged in many overseas cold-chain food production enterprises have attracted attention in China. Mr. Bi mentioned that we need to strengthen control of the origins of imported cold-chain food. What specific measures does the GACC have in this regard? Thank you.

Bi Kexin:

Thank you for your question. According to the World Health Organization, experiences from previous outbreaks of related coronaviruses show that transmission through food consumption did not occur. As the pandemic is still raging rapidly overseas, especially in some countries where people are resuming work when the pandemic is not under control, the risk of contamination via the cold chain has increased.

In response to this situation, the administration has further strengthened control of the origins of imported cold-chain food.

First is to take measures as early as possible. We require government departments of all 105 countries or regions that export cold-chain food to China to urge enterprises that export food to China to improve the food production safety management system and take preventive measures to ensure food safety in China.

Second is to carry out remote inspection online. We have primarily focused on checking the operation of the overseas food safety management system and the implementation of regulatory responsibilities, the implementation of the responsibilities of the food safety entities of overseas enterprises, and whether the overseas official departments and enterprises implement the guidelines concerning COVID-19 and food safety issued by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization.

Third is to take measures to suspend imports of relevant products. Given that cluster infections have recently emerged in meat and seafood product companies in some countries, we have taken measures to suspend the import of their products. As you may have noticed, we suspended imports from 23 foreign meat producers, including Tönnies of Germany, Tyson Foods of the United States, Agra of Brazil, and Tulip of the United Kingdom. Many countries and enterprises have complied with the measures actively, and ten of them voluntarily halted imports to China based on our requirements. Thank you.

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