Shanghai to test officials and food staff to hammer home new laws

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Food safety officials and industry staff in China’s commercial capital will start being tested on new food safety laws, according to officials from the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration.

Shanghai officials will face demotion if they do not know food safety regulations well enough, after the city’s food regulator announced that civil servants and food industry employees would be examined on the basis of their knowledge of legislation.

Companies will be scrutinised more frequently when the new regulations are implemented on March 20, the SFDA added. They will first be warned, then fined, if they fail to follow the food code. In serious instances, their business licences will be revoked.

The new regulation carries a lifetime ban for operators convicted of food safety crimes and a five-year ban for those whose licences have been revoked.

The SFDA has trained staff from some hundreds of food companies, including those manufacturing high-risk products like meat, dairy, seafood and infant food.

We have a database of about 1,000 questions about food safety law and regulation. They can do the tests on WeChat according to their convenience,” Chao Qiangguo, director of the SFDA’s food production department, told Shanghai Daily.

Those involved in food industry must understand the regulations. If all the companies understand and follow the regulations, we can ensure safety.”

There are some 200,000 food companies across Shanghai, all of which have been ordered to brief and train their staff before the regulator begins testing at an unnamed date.

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