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 10/2015

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 milk ingredient (610 mg/kg – ppm) in chocolate from France, following an official control on the market. Notified by Spain;

– Biocontaminants: histamine (between 103 and 193 mg/kg – ppm) in sardinella’s pate from Senegal, following company’s own check. Notified by France, distributed also to Belgium;

– Food additives and flavorings: undeclared sulphite in Afghan dry plum from Germany, following an official control on the market. Notified by United Kingdom;

– Mycotoxins: aflatoxins (B1 = 46.2; Tot. = 61.2 µg/kg – ppb) in peanut powder from Taiwan, following an official control on the market. Notified by Germany, distributed also to Austria and Denmark;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella spp. (presence /50g) in moringa leaves powder from India, following a consumer complaint. Notified by Austria, distributed also to Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany and Italy;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella spp. (presence /25g) in dry sausage from Spain, following company’s own check. Notified by France, distributed also to Andorra;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (stx +, eae + /25g) in blue cheese from France, following an official control on the market. Notified by Belgium, distributed also to Luxembourg.

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

– Insufficient labelling (missing instruction that the product requires cooking prior to consumption) of smoked pancetta from Italy, following a consumer complaint. Notified by Ireland, distributed also to United Kingdom;

– Food additives and flavorings: too high content of sulphite (2400 mg/kg – ppm) in golden raisins from Chile, packaged in Denmark, via the Netherlands, following an official control on the market. Notified by Denmark;

– Non pathogenic micro-organisms: hazelnut kernels, packaged in Sweden, infested with moulds, following company’s own check;

– Residues of veterinary medicinal products: unauthorised substance leucomalachite green (39 µg/kg – ppb) in frozen fish from Vietnam, following an official control on the market. Notified by United Kingdom;

– Unauthorised placing on the market (illegally harvested) of oysters from Ireland, following an official control on the market. Notified by Ireland, distributed also to Netherlands;

3. Alerts followed by a withdrawal from the market:

– Heavy metals: mercury (1.6 mg/kg – ppm) in frozen blue shark (Prionace glauca) from Spain, following an official control on the market. Notified by Italy;

– FEED. Composition: too high content of vitamin D (between 35500 and 301000 IU/kg) in kitten and puppy milk from France, following company’s own check. Notified by France, distributed also to Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom;

– FCM: migration of primary aromatic amines (0.044; 0.021; 0.094 mg/kg – ppm) from nylon spoons from China, via Slovakia, following an official control on the market. Notified by Poland, distributed also to United Kingdom;

– Industrial contaminants: benzo(a)pyrene (2.97 µg/kg – ppb), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (sum of 4 PAH: 61.38 µg/kg – ppb), benzo(a)anthracene (7.43 µg/kg – ppb), chrysene (48.67 µg/kg – ppb) and benzo(b)fluoranthen (2.31 µg/kg – ppb) in smoked sprats in oil from Latvia, following an official control on the market. Notified by Poland;

– Mycotoxins: aflatoxins (B1 = 4.78; Tot. = 5.79 µg/kg – ppb) in halva with pistachio nuts from Turkey, following an official control on the market. Notified by Germany, distributed aslo to Netherlands;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria monocytogenes (<10 CFU/100g) in tarama cod eggs from Romania, following an official control on the market. Notified by France.

4. Seizures:

None

5. Border rejections:

  • absence of health certificate(s) and absence of Common Entry Document (CED) for hazelnut butter from Serbia
  • aflatoxins (B1 = >24 µg/kg – ppb) in roasted pistachios from Iran and in pistachio nuts (B1 = 153.5 µg/kg – ppb) from Iran
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 19.2 µg/kg – ppb) in pistachios from the United States
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 2.2; Tot. = 2.5 / B1 = 5.1; Tot. = 5.9 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnut kernels from China
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 2.6 µg/kg – ppb) in hazelnuts from Turkey
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 7.2; Tot. = 7.4 µg/kg – ppb) in ground chilli powder from India
  • biphenyl (0,657 mg/kg – ppm) in lemons from Turkey
  • chlorpyrifos (0.06 mg/kg – ppm) and fenitrothion (0.04 mg/kg – ppm) in olives in brine from Egypt
  • fenitrothion (0.84 mg/kg – ppm) in beans from Madagascar
  • cinnamon (Cassia Vera) from Indonesia, via Hong Kong infested with moulds
  • fraudulent health certificate(s) for rice sticks from China
  • lead (0.47 mg/kg – ppm) in durum wheat from India
  • FEED: Salmonella spp. (in 2 out of 13 samples /25g) in fish meal from Mauritania
  • unauthorised placing on the market (Solanum nigrum, Sida cordifolia Operculina turpethum and Nepeta hindostana) of food supplements from India
  • unauthorised substance diafenthiuron (0.050 mg/kg – ppm) in sweet peppers from Turkey
  • unauthorised substance dichlorvos (0.03 mg/kg – ppm) in dried beans from Nigeria
  • unauthorised substance oxadixyl (0.054 mg/kg – ppm) in flowering tea from China