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State Council improves food safety (3)

By Jin Zhu  (China Daily)

08:38, June 14, 2012

"All food enterprises in China, including companies of import and export food, should realize that they serve as the body responsible for ensuring food safety. Each of the links from raw material production, processing, circulation to consumption must be supervised and inspected strictly," Pu said.

Dong Jinshi, executive vice-president of the International Food Packaging Association, said that punishments for food enterprises with illegal operations are always too light.

"Those people responsible for food safety scandals should be investigated for criminal responsibility in accordance with law. But now only a few people received such severe punishment," he said.

On Tuesday, catering businesses in China had been banned from adding nitrite salts to processed meats, according to a joint announcement from the Ministry of Health and the State Food and Drug Administration.

Under Chinese law, nitrite salts, a group of industrial salts, can be added to foods, such as sausages and smoked meats, as a preservative and coloring agent but only in very small and limited amounts.

Some restaurants, diners and snack booths have been found adding them to meat products they prepare themselves.

In April 2011, a 1-year-old girl died of nitrite poisoning after eating fried chicken bought from a street vender in Beijing.

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