Quarantine authorities gave the assurance yesterday that vegetable, fruit and poultry supplies to Hong Kong are 100 percent safe, even as more people have been caught bringing banned foodstuffs that threaten the safety of produce in the region.
Lu Zhiping, deputy director of the Shenzhen entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureau, told reporters yesterday that between August and last month, the agency examined and quarantined 23,300 batches of vegetables weighing about 166,000 tons, and 1,211 batches of live poultry that had been supplied to Hong Kong markets.
All the vegetables and poultry inspected were given the green light during the inspection, which was part of moves to guarantee the quality of fresh and live produce entering Hong Kong, Lu said.
"Hong Kong residents can rest assured of the quality and reliability of fresh and live produce," Lu said.
The region has so far registered 11 live poultry farms, four vegetable farms, 12 processing factories and one distribution center specially for Hong Kong markets.
"All of these are in good condition," Lu said.
Orchards and fruit packing factories have been required to register with quarantine agencies since this month, as part of a strict registration system for export-oriented poultry and vegetable farms.
Exporters are also required to mark packing boxes with the names, origins, and packing factories or codes of fruits.
"We have not encountered problems since the new system was implemented," Lu said.
At the same time, quarantine authorities are seeing more banned products being confiscated from visitors at the checkpoints in the past three months.
(China Daily November 27, 2007)