China

Over half of food inspections in mainland China failed last quarter

Workers at Shanghai Husi, where TV cameras filmed staff routinely relabelling expired meat

Orders for food inspections in mainland China—almost half of which have failed—have increased at a fast rate in the wake of recent food scandals, a report by quality-control services provider AsiaInspection (AFI) has said.

According to the report, several food scandals in China over the past quarter have placed pressure on brands to improve their safety standards.

This includes the case of Shanghai Husi expired meat being sold to a number of international fast-food chains in China and Japan, as well as the seizure of 30,000 tonnes of chicken feet that had been soaked in hydrogen peroxide. More recently, in September, a gang was arrested for having sold over 90m toxic gelatine pill capsules.

This increased risk and food-safety fear is translating to increased orders for food inspections, which jumped 21.3% over the previous quarter, and 30% year on year, according to data from AsiaFoodInspection, AI's food quality control services arm.

The figures show that 51.7% of food inspections conducted between the first and third quarters of 2014 in mainland China failed.

It’s completely unacceptable for Chinese manufactured food to routinely put consumers at risk”, said Sebastien Breteau, AsiaInspection’s chief executive. 

The long term solution is stricter government regulations and food inspections and testing at the source.”

The report highlighted that China’s food safety law is currently being re-drafted, under which liability and penalties have been increased significantly.

The new law will also place the burden of proof on the manufacturer to prove that its food is compliant with food safety standards.

The Chinese government has publicly said that it expects that the new system will also motivate consumers to be more proactive in coming forward, given that it has the provision for a monetary reward system for whistleblowers.

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Comments (1)

Telly Hendon - 16 Oct 2014 | 11:10

Quality not only fails in regards to food

The western world is being fed back what it outsources and then some: in the west quality products would be rolled out but now it is made in China most is contaminated subquality stuff that ends up in the nostrils, skin, tongue and airways and garbage belts polluting further. Chinese products need much more screening and higher levels than is assumed.

16-Oct-2014 at 11:10 GMT

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