food safety in China

Food safety in China is no joke — and it’s not a concern that’s limited to a handful of paranoid foreigners. It’s something that Chinese people also discuss constantly. Every other day, my coworkers would warn me about some random beverage or snack that killed someone and whether a restaurant uses “bad oil” (a.k.a. “gutter oil“), etc.

Even still, I was pretty shocked when I read this report by AsiaInspection, a quality control company based in Shenzhen and Hong Kong:

AsiaInspection figures show in 2011 51% of food inspections conducted in Mainland China failed. While the majority of these inspections were failed because of minor defects, 10% were for critical defects with an extreme case involving contamination by a large quantity of rodent fecal matter. The fact that over half of all Chinese food inspections fail is even more alarming when compared to an average failure rate for non-food products of about 30%….

Food safety is not limited to only the food itself. Food packaging, with a 2011 inspection failure rate of 57% is just as critical. “Food packaging defects may not seem critical,” says Sebastien Breteau, CEO of AsiaInspection. “But by the time food leaves the factory and hits store shelves, toxic amounts of contaminants like formaldehyde and lead can leech out of packaging, contaminate food and cause serious harm to consumers.”

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2 Responses to food safety in China

  1. kim says:

    Holy Cow!! How can you afford to NOT be paranoid?

  2. Wendy says:

    Chinese food safety IS a joke. I worked in this industry in China for 4 years, surely know the truth. The biggest problem in China is corruption. The departments in charge of food safety in China don’t do the job. As long as you give them the money, you can sell shit in store.

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