China Introduces New Disinfection Rules for Cold Chain Food Imports

China’s top health authority issued new guidelines about general disinfection for imported cold chain food.

The notice, issued on Monday, required government departments to organize and implement the preventive disinfection work to realize the whole process of closed-loop control and traceability, so as to minimize the risk of importing the new coronavirus through imported cold-chain food.

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The National Health Commission also listed detailed responsibilities for departments of customs, transportation, health, market supervision and regulation.

The notice said that imported cold chain food will be disinfected in such areas as port inspection, transportation, packing and storage, wholesale and retail, before it comes into contact with people in China.

The document said the inner and outer packaging of imported cold-chain food containers as well as its loading vehicles need to be disinfected. Imported products with positive test results must be returned or destroyed under the regulations.

The disinfection implementation unit should keep detailed records of the disinfection work, including the date, personnel, location, disinfection object, disinfectant name, concentration and duration of action, etc., and the relevant information and records must be kept for at least two years, according to the notice.

What’s more, food production operators are required to obtain a certificate of disinfection issued by the disinfection unit for imported cold-chain food goods, and any products without certification cannot be sold.

In the domestic transportation sector, the transportation department should supervise and guide cold chain logistics enterprises to strictly check customs clearance documents and implement measures such as disinfection of transport vehicles, vessels and other loading transport equipment, and personal protection of frontline staff.

Though the pandemic is basically under control in China, new cases of infection from imported cold chain foods have appeared in recent months.