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China Promotes Process Supervision to Ensure Safe Food
China is promoting Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) and other new production management systems among the country's food producers, in a bid to ensure safe food products through process supervision.

HACCP is a preventive process control system which relies on identifying and monitoring Critical Control Points (CCPs) in food production, processing, storage and transportation to guarantee the safety of the final product, according to Li Tairan, an official with Ministry of Health.

The ministry in Jul. introduced guidelines for implementing HACCP in the food sector, as one of its efforts to encourage and direct food businesses to apply the methodology.

Local governments are also taking action. Earlier this year, health administrations of the Shanghai municipal government worked out rules and guidelines for implementing HACCP, and designed application models for over ten food lines including dairy products, meat, frozen food, mooncakes and beverages.

The management system would make its official debut in the city in the latter half of this year, said Wang Ronghua, vice-secretary-general of the Shanghai government.

According to Zhang Dan, deputy director of the health bureau insouth China's Shenzhen, that city in Apr. ran a HACCP workshop involving over 100 food companies which outlined how to set up and run the system. Zhang said Shenzhen also planned to use various incentives to promote the technology among local food companies.

Chen Chuanyu, vice-mayor of Guangzhou, capital city of south China's Guangdong Province, said his city was also integrating HACCP into local food businesses from dairying, meat and mooncakes to restaurants.

Yurun Group, a meat processing company in east China's Jiangsu Province was also implementing HACCP under the eye of the provincial entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureau, said group president Zhu Yicai.

Li Tairan said the technology, recommended by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) as "the most economical and effective" means to ensure food safety, had been adopted by many countries around the world, and is mandatory in some.

He believed introducing HACCP in China would facilitate the government's supervision of the food industry and boost the country's economic development by strengthening people's faith in food safety.

Liang Huapeng from a food company in Guangzhou said HACCP verification was a must for Chinese food products to enter North America and western European countries, and the implementation of HACCP would boost Chinese companies' exports.

Shanghai officials said the government saw adopting the system as a way to sharpen the competitive edge of the local food industry.

(People's Daily August 17, 2002)

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