Imported cold chain food to be disinfected
China now requires imported cold chain food to be thoroughly disinfected before going to market, after coronavirus was detected on the outer packaging of imported cold chain food in three cities in two days, leading to growing public concerns.
On Sunday, Tianjin City entered into “war time mode” after a worker in a local frozen food company who had contact with the outer packaging of imported frozen food was found to be infected with coronavirus.
Similar cases were reported from the cities of Dezhou in Shandong Province and Taiyuan in Shanxi Province.
Imported cold chain food will be thoroughly disinfected to achieve closed-loop control and traceability for the whole process, in order to minimize the risk of bringing in COVID-19 through imported food, according to a plan released by the State Council yesterday.
For imported cold-chain foods that test negative for the virus, the interiors of cold chain vans and the outer packaging of the foods should be disinfected before being transported. The foods that test positive for COVID-19 will be returned or destroyed.
The plan requires cold-chain logistics firms to strictly check customs clearance documents for imported cold-chain foods and disinfect vehicles, ships, and other transportation equipment. Workers who have direct contact with the foods should take protective measures.
Cold storages should keep records of imported cold-chain foods coming in and out, and the records should be kept for at least two years, read the plan.
Businesses must check the disinfection documents, without which the food cannot be sold on the market.
Efforts should go into ensuring all the imported cold-chain foods entering the market are traceable, the plan said.
The plan also requires improving customs clearance efficiency of the ports to avoid overstocking and safeguarding the stability of the industrial and supply chain.