China Proposes Food Labeling and Contamination-Related Standards

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February 5, 2020Xiaolu WangBlog

The National Health Commission of China published the Invite for Response to 13 Proposed National Food Safety Standards (关于征求食品中污染物限量等13项食品安全国家标准(征求意见稿)意见的函) (the proposal) on 31 December 2019. The proposal contains 13 National Food Safety Standards that are now open for public consultation. Public comments on these standards can be submitted to the National Health Commission until 28 February 2020.

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Specifically, the 13 proposed National Food Safety Standards may be further divided into the following groups:

  • Two standards on microbial contamination, targeting the pathogens in pre-packaged foods and bulk foods
  • Two standards on general contaminants, including general food contaminants and mycotoxins in foods
  • Two standards related to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for manufacturing facilities for dairy products and infant formula foods (powder)
  • One labeling standard for pre-packaged food products

Additional standards are also proposed for the following major topics:

  • Quality standards for nutrition enhancers
  • Testing method for determining the content of vanillin, methyl vanillin, ethyl vanillin and coumarin in certain food products such as infant food and candy

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Companies that operate in the food industry, including the manufacture, import and sale of food products, should note that China recently proposed a total of 13 National Food Safety Standards covering topics ranging from labeling requirements, GMP requirements and food contaminant limits. It is recommended that affected parties review the proposed standards and submit their comments here by 28 February 2020.