Agro-Industries and Food Safety
Food-born illnesses and chemical contamination affect adversely not only the public health in China,...
...especially in the poor and rural areas, but also the potential for food exports. Food-borne illnesses and chemical contamination impose extra burden on the health-care system and reduce labour productivity. In the international food trade, the vast majority of food processors, retailers and buyers require not only the implementation of a transparent food safety regulatory and inspection system, implemented by law by the country of origin authorities, but also to demonstrate that the entire supply chain is in compliance with the food safety/quality standards.
At all stages of the food chain, it is required to implement and comply with the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), which is a is a process control tool for carrying out risk assessments within risk analysis systems for effective management of hazards. The system is based on the implementation of risk based government control activities, including key elements as legislation, standardisation, inspection, sampling and testing, conformity assessment, and certification.
China has taken significant steps towards implementation of effective strategies in relation to food safety and product quality. The government is committed to establishing best practices for safe production across the entire food chain, built around risk analysis customised to meet the local situation. In the recently published ‘White Paper’ entitled “The Quality and Safety of Food in China” the system established by the government as well as an analysis of the efforts and results to improve the situation are described. In addition, the State Council (China’s cabinet) approved in principle a draft food safety law that will be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for further review at the end of October 2007.