Jolene Chen and Teresa Huang
On October 8, 2022, for the purposes of strengthening the supervision and administration of the quality and safety of food-related products and protecting public health and life safety, the State Administration for Market Regulation issued the Interim Measures for the Supervision and Administration of the Quality and Safety of Food-related Products (hereinafter referred to as “Measures”). The Measures mainly consist of the following three parts: the first part stipulates the obligations that the producers and sellers shall be fulfilled for the quality and safety of food-related products; the second part provides for the market regulatory departments’ supervision and administration system on the producers and sellers of food-related products; and the third part prescribes the legal liabilities to be assumed for the violation of the aforesaid two parts. This article provides a brief introduction to the important provisions of the Measures.
First, the Measures detail the types of food-related products prohibited from production and sale
For example, prohibition on using raw and auxiliary materials and additives that do not comply with the food safety standards and relevant announcements as well as other substances that may endanger human health, or food-related products produced by using additives beyond the scope or limit prescribed in the food safety standards. A producer or seller violating the aforesaid provisions will be subject to a fine of less than RMB100,000; where the circumstance is serious, the producer or seller will be imposed a fine of RMB200,000.
Second, the Measures provide for the specific requirements on the control of safety of food-related products in the whole process of production and sale thereof.
The Measures stipulate that a food-related product producer shall establish and implement a management system for the quality and safety of food-related products, formulate plans for the disposal of food-related product quality and safety accidents, implement the control of raw and auxiliary materials and evaluate and verify the safety of raw and auxiliary materials, establish and implement a management system for substandard products, and dispose of the substandard products that fail to pass the inspection, and that a food-related product seller shall establish and implement an inspection system for the purchased food-related products. If a producer or seller violates the above provisions, the market regulatory department will order it to make corrections within a prescribed time limit; if it refuses to make such corrections within the prescribed time limit or it still fails to meet the requirements after making such corrections, it will be subject to a fine of less than RMB30,000; where the circumstance is serious, it will be imposed a fine of less than RMB50,000.
Third, the Measures also prescribe the supervision and administration system on food-related products. Producers and sellers of food-related products are recommended to prepare for supervision and inspection.
The Measures stipulate that the market regulatory departments shall take the regulation of “random selection of subjects and inspectors and public disclosure of inspection results” as the main way, to randomly select subjects and inspectors to implement daily supervision and inspection on the producers and sellers of food-related products, and disclose the inspection matters and results to the public on a timely manner. The daily supervision and inspection matters implemented on the producers of food-related products include but not limited to: the producer’s qualifications, production environment conditions, control of key production links, identifying information, management of substandard products and product recall, management of employees, information records and traceability, and disposal of quality and safety accidents, etc. The daily supervision and inspection matters implemented on the sellers of food-related products include: the seller’s qualifications, results of inspection on the purchased food-related products, storage of food-related products, identifying information, and disposal of quality and safety accidents, etc.
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