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China to expand food contaminant monitoring


14:15, January 28, 2013

BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- China has set a goal of equipping at least half of the country's county-level administrative regions to monitor various contaminants and harmful ingredients in food by the end of 2013.

A new work plan, released on Friday by the Ministry of Health, focuses this year's food safety efforts on grains, vegetables, meat, dairy, baby food products and illegal additives.

China has reported a series of heavy metal pollution incidents over the past few years. In one serious case that occurred in Liuyang of central China's Hunan Province in 2009, cadmium-containing pollutants from a chemical plant affected more than 500 people and polluted the land within a radius of 500 to 1,200 meters of the plant.

Under the plan, the ministry will hone a mechanism to monitor and report food-borne diseases while regulating epidemiologic research on food safety incidents.

Also on the agenda of this year's food safety work is the drafting and revision of various regulations, including one stipulating the maximum amount of pathogenic microbes contained in food products.

In addition, the ministry will improve methods to check illegal additives and publicize blacklists of such additives.

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