Di Wu and Teresa Huang
The State Administration for Market Regulation issued the Provisions for the Supervision and Administration of Enterprises’ Implementation of the Main Responsibility for Food Safety (hereinafter referred to as the “Provisions”), which aim at urging enterprises to implement the main responsibility for food safety, strengthen the responsibility for food safety of an enterprise’s principal responsible person and regulate the behavior of food safety management personnel.
The Provisions have a total of 22 articles, mainly covering the following five aspects: first, clarifying the purpose of the enactment, scope of application, general requirements, responsibility system, setting principles and other general requirements; second, clarifying and refining the job requirements for and specific duties and tasks of the food safety director, food safety officers and other food safety management personnel; third, clarifying the daily control, weekly inspection, monthly scheduling and other working mechanisms and specific requirements for daily performance of duties of the food safety director and food safety officers; fourth, clarifying the specific measures for enterprises and food safety managers to perform their responsibilities and the management requirements in training, appraisal and other aspects; fifth, clarifying the illegal circumstances and punishment to the responsible persons and other related legal responsibilities.
The issuance of the Provisions also means that food manufacturers shall perform additional compliance obligations as follows:
1. To improve enterprises’ responsibility system
According to the Provisions, food production and operation enterprises shall establish and improve a food safety management system, implement food safety responsibility system, and appoint the corresponding food safety officers and food safety directors based on their size, and shall designate their principal responsible persons to take the overall responsibility for food safety.
Specifically, the following types of food production and operation enterprises, and units with a collective canteen(s) shall appoint a food safety director (it may be a concurrent post) in addition to food safety officers:
(1). special food production enterprises;
(2). large and medium-sized food production enterprises;
(3). large and medium-sized catering service enterprises, and headquarters of chain catering enterprises;
(4). large and medium-sized food sales enterprises, and headquarters of chain sales enterprises;
(5). any canteen of a childcare institution with dinners of 300 persons or more, any school canteen with dinners of 500 persons or more, and any unit with dinners of more than 1,000 persons or supplying meals for more than 1,000 persons.
2. To perfect risk prevention and control mechanism
According to the Provisions, enterprises shall establish a dynamic management mechanism based on food safety risk prevention and control, develop a food safety risk control list, the Food Safety Director’s Responsibilities and the Food Safety Officer Code, and establish and improve the working mechanisms for daily control, weekly inspection, and monthly scheduling.
Specifically, a food safety officer shall be mainly responsible for daily control, the food safety director shall be responsible for weekly inspection, and the principal responsible person of the enterprise shall be responsible for monthly scheduling. If relevant positions and systems already exist in an enterprise, they shall be clarified in accordance with the requirements of the Provisions to ensure that they meet the requirements of the Provisions.
The Provisions will come into effect on November 1, 2022. On the basis of clarifying the above specific implementation details, the Provisions also perfect relevant legal labilities to clarify the legal labilities for an enterprise’s failure to implement the food safety responsibility system and for its failure to appoint, train and appraise food safety directors and food safety officers as required by law. In view of this, it is recommended that the relevant responsible persons of enterprises should attach importance to the above-mentioned compliance obligations in order to avoid the corresponding legal liabilities.
 Notice on seeking public opinion for the Provisions for the Supervision and Administration of Enterprises’ Implementation of the Main Responsibility for Food Safety (Draft for Comments) issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation (https://www.samr.gov.cn/hd/zjdc/202208/t20220816_349312.html)
 Reply in response to the questions raised in the press conference with respect to the Provisions for the Supervision and Administration of Enterprises’ Implementation of the Main Responsibility for Food Safety by the relevant responsible persons of the Food Coordination Department of the State Administration for Market Regulation (http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/2022-09/27/content_5712699.htm)
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