Beijing to roll out tough food safety law

Updated: 2012-12-28 00:15


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BEIJING - The Beijing municipal government will soon introduce a strict law, as well as an accountability system, to ensure food safety in the city.

Food producers or vendors will be banned from the sector for life if they are found to produce or sell unsafe food, according to a municipal food safety regulation that was passed Thursday at a session of the Standing Committee of the 13th Beijing Municipal People's Congress.

The regulation, effective from April 1, 2013, states that those found to be responsible for food safety problems, as well as the executives of companies that commit food safety violations, will not be allowed to operate in the industry for five years after their firms' licenses are revoked.

The regulation also bans the use of discarded oil or fat to process cooking oil, as well as the use of such oil as raw material to make food.

The use of "gutter oil," or cooking oil that is created by reprocessing used oil, is a chronic problem in China.

The new law states that catering businesses will not be allowed to dump or discard kitchen garbage, adding that used oil should be handled using professional facilities and collected by licensed companies.

The municipal government will also set up a food safety accountability mechanism to collect, share and release information regarding food safety and enhance regional cooperation, according to the regulation.

The supervision and management of food safety in the city will also be included as a factor when evaluating the work of governments at all levels.

Beijing's tough rules on food safety came shortly after Shanghai announced on Wednesday that it would blacklist firms that flout food safety laws.

Under the proposed law, expected to become effective in 2013, firms caught using banned substances in food, producing food from inedible ingredients, or illegally making, selling or using banned food additives will be banned from operating in Shanghai, according to city officials.

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