BEIJING (dpa) – Nearly half of Chinese food plants failed to meet legal standards in 2014 due to problems including incorrect labelling, falsified expiry dates, and poor food hygiene, a news report said Thursday.
The main causes of failure in lab tests of food products from Chinese plants included the presence of substances such as pesticides, antibiotics, heavy metals, bacteria and viruses, the South China Morning Post quoted Hong Kong-based firm AsiaInspection as saying.
Major reasons for inspection failures included the deliberate mislabelling of product ingredients and the falsifying of ingredients’ expiry dates, the newspaper reported.
Of the 7,000 Chinese food plants audited, 48.1 per cent failed inspections from AsiaInspection, a group hired by suppliers’ customers to assess factory conditions.
“China is struggling with low consumer confidence in food safety as the country was hit with multiple scandals,” the company said Wednesday in its quarterly report.
Food safety and food quality problems have become a major issue in China after dozens of scandals were reported by state media over the last decade.
Chinese police on Monday said they had arrested “more than 110” people in 11 provinces on suspicion of selling pork from diseased pigs.
Chinese police last year arrested five employees of a company found to have used out-of-date meat in supplies to fast-food chains including McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut.
Inspectors seized 1,270 tonnes of raw meat and meat products from the Shanghai Husi Food Company. Zhang Hui, the company’s quality manager, confessed that Shanghai Husi had used old meat in its products for many years, state media reported.