The Implementing regulation of Food Safety Law have been finally issued, after several years of incubation.
Effective since December 1, 2019, they will replace the former Implementation Regulation of 2009. The main focus of these new Implementing Regulations appear to be enforcement, risk management and special foods.
In general, the State encourages individual report any food safety related violations with reward budgeted in local government subsidy. Food business holder credit system will be maintained by congress food safety administration agencies, food producers and traders on doc, and information will be announced to public promptly, especially for the blacklisted. Credibility on food safety is to link to finance system of commerce.
Food safety standards
Food safety standards are drafted, published for public opinions, revised, published, and enforced.
Special foods such as health foods, formulas for special medical uses, formulas for infants and young children are not local special foods, and local standards for food safety shall not be established for them.
After the publication of food safety standards, food production operators may implement and publicly implement the situation ahead of the implementation date stipulated by the food safety standards.
For the list of substances that are both food and Chinese medicinal materials according to tradition, the health administrative department of the State Council and the food safety supervision and administration department of the State Council shall update it in a timely manner.
The principal person in charge of a food production and operation (sales, food service) enterprise shall be fully responsible for the food safety system of the enterprise, establish and implement the food safety responsibility system of the enterprise, strengthen supplier management, purchase inspection and factory inspection, production and operation process control, and food. This makes even more important the adoption of a sound internal written regulation to allocate food safety responsiblities.
In case of food production entrusted, the entrusting entity shall supervise the entrusted entity’s production and is responsible for the safety of the entrusted food. The entrusted entity shall conduct production in accordance with laws and contractual agreements, shall be responsible for production activities, and shall accept supervision by the entrusting entity. We remember that – de facto – labeling of both the entrusted entity and of the entrusting entity is required.
If a food production and operation operator entrusts the storage or transportation of food, it shall review the food safety guarantee ability of the trustee and supervise the trustee to store and transport the food in accordance with the requirements for ensuring food safety. The entrusted entity shall ensure that the food storage and transportation conditions meet the requirements of food safety and strengthen the management of food storage and transportation processes.
It is forbidden to use any means including meetings, lectures, health consultations to make false propaganda on food. If the food safety supervision and administration department finds false propaganda activities, it shall promptly handle it according to law.
Some concepts expressed in provisions of the food safety laws have been clarified; for example, the concept of “serious circumstances” mentioned in articles 123-126 and 132 of the Food Safety Law is defined with reference to the various criteria (value of the involved products, duration of the illegal conduct, consequences of the illegal conduct, etc.)
Production and sales
Non-food production and business operators engaged in food storage business with special requirements on temperature, humidity, etc. shall file with the food safety supervision and administration department of the local county-level people’s government within 30 working days from the date of obtaining the business license.
Food production and business operators shall clearly mark or degrade the foods that have deteriorated, exceed the shelf life or are recycled (i.e. food that has been sold and recalled or returned due to violation of laws, food safety standards or expiration of the warranty period) in a place with clear signs, and take measures such as harmless treatment and destruction in a timely manner and record them truthfully.
The production and operation of genetically modified foods shall be marked clearly, and the marking methods shall be formulated by the food safety supervision and administration department of the State Council in conjunction with the agricultural administrative department of the State Council. In this regard, we remind that labeling of GMO ingredients is in theory required without any tolerance threshold.
Any special medical use formula food production enterprise shall carry out batch-by-batch inspection of the manufactured products in accordance with the inspection items stipulated by the national food safety standards.
Specific all-nutritional formulas for special medical uses should be sold to consumers through medical institutions or pharmaceutical retailers. The advertisements for specific full-nutrition formulas for special medical uses are managed according to prescription drugs, and other types of special-purpose food advertisements are managed according to over-the-counter advertisements.
No food other than health food may claim to have health function claims. Infant formulas supplemented with optional substances shall not be named after optional substances.
The contents of the labels and instructions of special foods shall be consistent with the labels or instructions for registration or filing. For the sale of special foods, it shall be checked whether the contents of the food label and the contents of the instructions are consistent with the label or the specification of the registration or filing, and may not be sold inconsistently. The food safety supervision and administration department of the people’s government at or above the provincial level shall publish the labels and instructions for the special foods registered or filed on its website.
Special foods must not be sold together ordinary foods or medicines – meaning that it shall be sold in specially-isolated areas within the retail store.
For imported food products not covered under present State standards, the State health department evaluate and verify international standards submit by exporter and/or producer abroad.
Standards considered compliant with PRC food safety requirements will be granted as temporary adaption and published. Anyway, before the standard is issued, food products without compliance statement to current State food safety standards shall not be imported. Importer shall maintain its supplier evaluation system to verify international exporter and producer. Producer to export their food product and food additives, shall ensure product compliance to buyer local standards or contract.
Besides registration, producers shall pursue on product traceability system. For e-commerce traded food, trader registration info and trading record needs to be well documented. The platform complies audit by government, to offer info in need, though kept confidential to public.