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Draft regulation allows bacteria in frozen food

By Zhou Wenting (China Daily)

09:22, November 24, 2011

Microbes in small quantities will not compromise quality, say experts

BEIJING - A new draft, released by the Ministry of Health in September, allowing the existence of staphylococcus aureus - a currently prohibited bacterium - in frozen food, has attracted wide attention, especially given that four major manufacturers of frozen food in the country have been accused of producing bacteria-contaminated food in the past two months.

The draft does not necessarily suggest compromising the quality of frozen food by allowing the detection of a prohibited pathogenic bacterium, say food safety experts.

The draft said five packs of a batch will be tested as part of spot checks on frozen food, and, at the most, one pack containing the bacterium from 1,000 to 10,000 in number in each gram of the food, would be passed.

The current practice is to have one pack tested as part of every spot check. An entire batch of products is identified as faulty if the sample is found to contain the bacterium.

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