A senior official in charge of food quality said Tuesday companies and local governments should jointly establish an inspection system to address pork safety issues.
Li Changjiang, head of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, made the remarks during an inspection tour in Tianjin.
It was his second inspection visit to a pork market and processing unit in less than 15 days. Late last month he inspected a market in Beijing.
Sources close to the administration said this was part of the nation's four-month campaign to improve the quality of goods and food.
"Food safety is not only about public health but also the company's image. Companies are responsible for their products. Local governments should also play an active role in supervision and ensure food safety," Li said.
"We are working to implement two 100 percent rules around the nation to prevent any ill or dead pig from entering the market."
The two rules refer to the slaughter of pigs in designated areas and the safe disposal of ill or dead pigs.
Tianjin has "successfully addressed pork safety problems" with the implementation of the rules, Tianjin Deputy Mayor Huang Xingguo said.
"We strictly follow food safety regulations, from pig purchasing to transportation. I can assure you that no ill or dead pigs get into my factory and all my pork is safe," said Xie Xinchun, a manager of Tianjin's Hepeng Food Company.
The company only buys a pig with tags showing it has a complete immunization record. There are four quality control inspectors from a local livestock bureau based in the company to monitor production, Xie said.
"You can easily follow the trail from the blue inspection stamps on the pork if you have a problem," said an official from the bureau, who declined to give his name.
Also, local governments are pushing for a village-level inspection system to deal with pig disease in Tianjin.
Li Yongjiang, an inspector in Jixian county, Tianjin, said his role was to provide vaccine injections and report any diseases to the county's livestock bureau.
(China Daily September 5, 2007)