Entry-Exit Alerts for Chinese Market

Today I introduce you with great pleasure a guest writer which hopefully will be a fixed presence on foodlawlatest.com: Quinn Hulk, Food and Drug Administration of Beijing – Food Law Advisor.

With his solid background in food safety and his role in the competent authority, he will be in future Foodlawlatest country contributor for China and will offer us incredibly useful oversights on the Chinese food safety issues. The following analysis of the recent Chinese import alerts speaks for him.

You can contact Quinn Hulk directly via e-mail at hulkquinn@163.com.

China has become the largest food and farm produce importer all over the world. With the total value of imported food and farm produce rising to 121, 48 billion dollar in 2014 from 37, 57 billion dollar in 2001, it seems that Chinese consumers have more assurance in imported food. Great news for the food and farm produce traders. Risks, however, are an indispensable part of chances. Things can still be done nonetheless. Here are some alerts.

a) According to the data released by Import & Export Food Safety Bureau affiliated to General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of PRC, the leading three among the areas from which the unqualified food come are Chinese Taiwan, European union countries and Southeast Asia.

The top ten factors for not being successfully penetrating into Chinese market are listed as below,

1) Defective labeling→Please refer to detailed provisions of Chinese national food safety standard GB7718-2011and GB28050-2011

2) Aerobic plate count→Please refer to detailed provisions of Chinese national food safety standard GB4789.2-2010

3) Enumeration of coliforms→Please refer to detailed provisions of Chinese national food safety standard GB4789.2-2010

4) Quality guarantee period→Please refer to detailed provisions of Chinese Food Safety Law

5) Wrong way in submission of relevant documents and materials→Please refer to detailed provisions of 35 provincial entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureaus of China and Import & Export Food Safety Bureau affiliated to General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of PRC

6) Moisture→Please refer to detailed provisions of Chinese national food safety standard GB5009.3-2010

7) Lack of credentials→Please refer to detailed provisions of 35 provincial entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureaus of China and Import & Export Food Safety Bureau affiliated to General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of PRC

8) Mould→Please refer to detailed provisions of Chinese national food safety standard GB478915-2010

9) Quality defects

10) Unauthorized admittance→Please refer to detailed provisions of 35 provincial entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureaus of China and Import & Export Food Safety Bureau affiliated to General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of PRC.

b) The top three types of food that failed in inspections conducted by Chinese customs are biscuits, beverages and alcohol.

For the biscuits, the main reasons that led to the failure are as follows,

1) Usage of food additives that fall out the legal range of Chinese regulations on food additives, mainly GB2760-2014.

2) Aerobic plate count goes beyond of GB4789.2-2010

3) Enumeration of coliforms is not in conformity with GB4789.2-2010.

4) The labeling is not in accordance with GB7718-2011 and GB28050-2011.

For beverages, the main reason of over 230 failures is that the products are detected of over used food additives, such as azorubin which is regulated by GB28309-2012.

For alcohol especially wines and beers, many brands from France, Greece, Germany, Spain and other European countries failed in food additives such as Iron oxide red, acesulfame potassium, Vitamin C. Other reasons included labeling, inconsistencies between documents and letter of credit, and failure in providing required documents and credentials.

Food recalls in EU – Week 27-28/2015

This week on the EU RASFF (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we can find the following notifications:

1. Alerts followed by a recall from consumers:

– Allergens: undeclared gluten and egg in cream of potato & spinach soup from Germany, following a consumer complaint. Notified from United Kingdom, distributed also to Ireland and Italy;

– Allergens: traces of almond in hot paprika and chili powder from China, following company’s own check. Notified by Greece, distributed also to Albania, Cyprus and Germany;

– Allergens: undeclared sulphite (17.0 mg/kg – ppm) in sweets from Belgium, following company’s own check. Notified by Belgium, distributed also to France;

– Allergens: undeclared gluten, soya, nuts and lactose (ingredients list in Danish, Finnish and Swedish is missing on the label) in icecream from Germany, following company’s own check. Notified by Denmark;

– Foreign bodies: plastic fragments in tofu basilico from Germany, following company’s own check. Notified by United Kingdom, distributed also to Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland;

– Foreign bodies: rat droppings in breakfast cereals from the United Kingdom, following a consumer complaint. Notified by Denmark, distributed also to Norway;

– FCM (Food Contact Materials): migration of primary aromatic amines (7.48; 0.005; 0.009 mg/kg – ppm) from plastic kitchenware from China, following an official control on the market. Notified by Poland, distributed also to Slovakia;

– FCM (Food Contact Materials): migration of aluminium (32.8; 14.7 mg/l) from ceramic balls from China, following an official control on the market. Notified by France, distributed also to Belgium;

– Mycotoxins: patulin (147 µg/kg – ppb) in apple juice from Belgium, following company’s own check. Notified by Belgium, distributed also to France.

2. Information for attention/for follow up followed by a recall from consumers:

– Foreign bodies: rodent (mouse tail) in chocolate and hazelnut muesli from Belgium, following a consumer complaint. Notified by Greece, distributed also to Denmark;

– Non pathogenic micro-organisms: hazelnut kernels from Sweden infested with mouldsfollowing a consumer complaint. Notified by Denmark, distributed also to Iceland;

– Non pathogenic micro organisms: chilled diced or shredded chicken and pork products from Poland infested with yeastsfollowing a company’s own check. Notified by Denmark, distributed also to Greenland, Germany and Faeroe Islands;

– Pesticides residues: chlorpyrifos (2.3 mg/kg – ppm) in celery from Laos, following an official control on the market. Notified by Denmark;

– Residues of veterinary medicinal products: sulfonamide (865 µg/kg – ppb) unauthorised in honey from Germany, following an official control on the market. Notified by Germany, distributed also to Austria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Malta, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom;

3. Alerts followed by a withdrawal from the market:

– Allergens: traces of almond in sauces from the Netherlands, following a company’s own check. Notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Austria, Belgium, Curacao, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom;

– Allergens: traces of milk (20 mg/kg – ppm) in marzipan with honey and chocolate from Germany, via Austria, following an official control on the market. Notified by Slovenia, distributed also to Croatia, Estonia, France, Poland and Slovakia;

– Composition: high content of aluminium (253 mg/kg – ppm) in glass noodles from Vietnam, following an official control on the market. Notified by Germany, distributed also to France;

– Heavy metals: cadmium (0.362 mg/kg – ppm) and mercury (4.45 mg/kg – ppm) in frozen swordfish from Spain, following an official control on the market. Notified by France, distributed also to Germany and Ireland;

– Industrial contaminants: sum of dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorobifenyls (22 pg WHO TEQ/g) in eggs from the Netherlands, following company’s own check. Notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Belgium;

– Pesticide residues: chlorpyrifos (0.09 mg/kg – ppm) in frozen broccoli from Poland, following an official control on the market. Notified by Estonia.

4. Seizures:

In Italy we had seizures of stainless steel knives from China for migration of chromium (18.3 mg/l) and of manganese (1.1 mg/l), of complete feed for aquaculture for presence of ruminant DNA and of chilled swordfish loins (Xiphias gladius) from Spain for presence of mercury (1.9 mg/kg – ppm)following official controls on the market.

We had also a seizure

5. Border rejections:

  • absence of health certificate(s) for egusi melon seeds from Nigeria and for emu oil capsules and liquid emu oil from the United States, via Canada
  • absence of Common Entry Document (CED) for dried beans from Nigeria
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 103; Tot. = 119 / B1 = 21.4; Tot. = 25.9 µg/kg – ppb) in pistachios in shell and in pistachio kernels (Tot. = 26.9 µg/kg – ppb) from Iran
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 14.6; Tot. = 15.4 µg/kg – ppb) in peanuts in shell, in unshelled peanuts (B1 = 5.4; Tot. = 17.9 µg/kg – ppb), in groundnuts kernels (B1 = 12.2; Tot. = 24 µg/kg – ppb) and in groundnuts (Tot. = 95 µg/kg – ppb) from China
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 162.6; Tot. = 242.9 µg/kg – ppb) in peanut chips from Nigeria
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 18.85; Tot. = 11.84 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnuts from Brazil
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 27.1 µg/kg – ppb) in roasted pistachios from Turkey
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 30; Tot. = 33 µg/kg – ppb) in nutmeg from Indonesia
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 28; Tot. = 31 µg/kg – ppb) in shelled pistachios, in pistachios in shell (B1 = 82.8; Tot. = 89 µg/kg – ppb) and in shelled almonds (B1 = 15 µg/kg – ppb) from the United States
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 89.4; Tot. = 93.9 µg/kg – ppb) and ochratoxin A (45 µg/kg – ppb) in and absence of labelling on mixed spices from Kuwait
  • attempt to illegally import dried beans from Nigeria
  • chlorpyrifos (0.12 mg/kg – ppm), cyhalothrin (0.37 mg/kg – ppm) and unauthorised substance dichlorvos (0.32 mg/kg – ppm) in dried beans from Nigeria
  • endosulfan (0.14 mg/kg – ppm) and buprofezin (0.60 mg/kg – ppm) in green tea from South Korea
  • FCM: migration of cadmium (0.453 mg/dm²) from ceramic spoons from China
  • FCM: migration of nickel (672 mg/kg – ppm) from wine stopper from China, via Hong Kong
  • high counts of coliforms (160000 CFU/g) and of Enterobacteriaceae (170000 CFU/g) in peanut kernels from Turkey
  • fenitrothion (0.05 mg/kg – ppm) in olives in brine from Egypt
  • mercury (1.893 mg/kg – ppm) in chilled tuna from Ecuador
  • peanuts in shell from China infested with moulds and with mites
  • poor temperature control (-4.9; -6.7; -5.5 °C) of frozen whole chicken from Ukraine, (+6 <–> 11 °C) of chilled fish from Pakistan, (+8.8; 6.8; 7.4; 6.6; 7.0 °C) of chilled swordfish (Xiphias gladius) and (> -12 °C) of frozen boneless beef meat (Bos taurus) from Chile, of chilled fish from India, (-3.5<–> -10.4 °C) of frozen shimps (Penaeus vannamei) from Malaysia and (-7.6, – 8.2, – 7.8, – 8.5, -10.8, -7.1 °C) of chilled tuna (Thunnus albacares) from Sri Lanka
  • Salmonella spp. (in 1 out of 5 samples /25g) in paan/betel leaves from India
  • Salmonella spp. (presence /25g) in hulled sesame seeds from India
  • Salmonella (present /25g) in frozen salted chicken, in frozen salted chicken preparation and in frozen salted boneless skinless chicken breasts from Thailand
  • too high content of colour E 102 – tartrazine (0.08 %) and unauthorised use of colour E 110 – Sunset Yellow FCF (0.005 %) and of colour E 129 – Allura Red AC (0.08 %) in canned preserved vegetables from Mexico
  • unauthorised colour Sudan 4 (0.8 mg/kg – ppm) in palm oil from Ghana