China Publishes Statistics on Food Safety Inspections Conducted During the First Quarter of 2018

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May 9, 2018 -

The State Administration of Market Regulation of China issued the Analysis of Data Collected from Food Safety Inspections Conducted during the First Quarter of 2018 (2018年第一季度食品安全监督抽检情况分析) (the Data Analysis) on 28 April 2018. The Data Analysis does not have any direct regulatory impact on private industry. Instead, it summarizes the inspection results for food products during the first quarter of 2018 and, most importantly, points out the more problematic areas for food safety management. Companies operating in the food industry should expect tightened enforcement and legislative action with regard to food products that have lower passing rates in the first quarter of 2018. 
 
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The Data Analysis identifies various major causes for food products to fail an inspection. Examples of these causes include:
  • Excessive use of food additives, which caused 30% of food products to fail the inspections;
  • Microorganism contamination, which caused 25.3% of food products to fail the inspections;
  • Excessive residual content of pesticides or veterinary drugs, which caused 21.6% of food products to fail the inspections; and
  • Failure to comply with applicable product standards, which accounts for 10.1% of food products that failed the inspections.
In addition to these general causes of failure, the Data Analysis specifies the passing rates for a total of 34 types of food products in the first quarter of 2018. Examples of these products include infant formula, dietary supplements, as well as food additives. 
 
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Companies that operate in the food industry should note that the State Administration of Market Regulation recently issued a report summarizing the results of food safety inspections conducted during the first quarter of 2018. This report, while not imposing any direct regulatory requirements on companies, will provide a reference for the government agencies to take targeted enforcement actions against major food safety issues identified.

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