Chinese food companies urged to keep safety check

Updated: 2011-04-25 10:24
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BEIJING -- The Chinese government has ordered food companies to keep clear and intact records of all their production and selling operations as part of the efforts to prevent the illegal use of food additives.

All food manufacturing and management companies must examine all products in stock for any trace of illegal food additives and keep records of the results in accordance with laws and regulations, according to a circular released Sunday by the food safety committee under the State Council, or China's Cabinet.

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The circular came days after Vice Premier Li Keqiang warned of the great harm from illegal additives in food, promising "a firm attitude, iron-hand measures and more efforts" in dealing with the problem.

Companies that fail to keep genuine and intact records and documents will be ordered to reform, and those providing fake records and certificates will be suspended from operations and punished accordingly, said the circular.

According to the circular, it is strictly forbidden to produce and sell non-edible materials that are likely to be used in food production without official certificates, and authorized production companies of these materials must adopt a real-name selling system.

These materials, including those banned in animal feed and drinking water, should not be sold to food and feed companies, the circular added.

A series of food safety scandals emerged in China recently. In one of the latest cases, steamed buns in Shanghai were reported, last week, to have been dyed, sold past their expiration date, or laced with coloring additives to mislead consumers.