China is a big producer and consumer of food, so food safety is directly related to public health.
By the end of April 2018, China had formulated and promulgated 1,224 national food safety standards, involving nearly 20,000 food safety indicators and basically covering the food varieties consumed on a daily basis.
The National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China has established and improved the national standard system of food safety to meet the requirements of health protection, centering on the establishment of the “most stringent standards”. This system has been praised as a model for developing countries by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, European and American institutions and experts.
At the same time, the National Health Commission has set up food contamination monitoring sites in 2,808 counties and districts in all provinces, covering all provinces, prefectures and municipalities and 98 percent of the administrative districts at the county level. The monitored food types are in 29 categories, including grains and oils, fruits and vegetables, infant food and so on. Two hundred and fifty-nine items are monitored from planting and breeding, grain storage, production and processing to sales and catering services, import and export and other links.
In terms of surveillance of food-borne diseases, 9,780 hospitals at or above the second level have been used as sentinel hospitals. To date, 17.7 million data items on food contamination and food-borne diseases have been collected, providing important background and scientific data for the development of revised food safety and nutrition standards.