Main­land piv­otal in Hong Kong’s food qual­ity, safety

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF HKSAR - By WANG XIAODONG wangx­i­aodong@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Food sup­plied by the Chi­nese main­land has played a cru­cial role in im­prov­ing the liveli­hoods of res­i­dents in Hong Kong since its re­turn to the na­tion 20 years ago, and the spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion is ex­pected to con­tinue en­joy­ing high-qual­ity, safe food prod­ucts.

“The cen­tral gov­ern­ment has at­tached high im­por­tance to the pros­per­ity and sta­bil­ity of Hong Kong and the well-be­ing of its res­i­dents, and has made great ef­forts to en­sure the safety of food and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts sup­plied to Hong Kong over the past 20 years,” said China’s Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Qual­ity Su­per­vi­sion, In­spec­tion and Quar­an­tine in a re­lease.

The Chi­nese main­land has been a ma­jor source of food and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts for Hong Kong, with al­most all live pigs, beef and veg­eta­bles in Hong Kong mar­kets sup­plied by the main­land, ac­cord­ing to the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

More than 99.7 per­cent of food sup­plied by the Chi­nese main­land to Hong Kong is up to stan­dard, and no se­ri­ous food safety in­ci­dent has ever hap­pened in Hong Kong in­volv­ing such prod­ucts in the past 20 years, the ad­min­is­tra­tion said.

Of the 300 types of prod- ucts sup­plied to Hong Kong, many are lo­cal del­i­ca­cies, such as chick­ens from Hainan province and crabs from Yangcheng Lake in Jiangsu province.

Guang­dong province, which neigh­bors Hong Kong and is a ma­jor source of food and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts for the city, has sup­plied more than 30 mil­lion tons of such prod­ucts to Hong Kong over the past 20 years, ac­cord­ing to the Guang­dong Exit-En­try In­spec­tion and Quar­an­tine Bureau.

For in­stance, the province sup­plies Hong Kong with about 150,000 eggs and more than 2,700 live pigs e ver y day, with the value of food and agric ul­tural prod­ucts sup­plied to Hong Kong by Guang­dong to­tal­ing nearly $2.3 bil­lion ev­ery year, the bureau said.

In or­der to en­sure the safe, smooth and sta­ble sup­ply of food and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts to Hong Kong, re­lated in­spec­tion and quar­an­tine au­thor­i­ties in the province are on duty 24 hours a day, it said.

To e n s u r e t h e s a f e ty o f food sup­plies, in­spec­tion and quar­an­tine au­thor­i­ties on the main­land in­vest nearly 100 mil­lion yuan ($14.74 mil­lion) ev­ery year on the mon­i­tor­ing of an­i­mal and plants f o r h e a l t h a n d s a f e ty, t h e Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Qual­ity Su­per­vi­sion, In­spec­tion and Quar­an­tine said.

Au­thor­i­ties on the main- land have es­tab­lished close co­op­er­a­tion with their coun­ter­par ts in Hong Kong to en­sure the safe ty of prod­ucts. They also im­pose strict su­per vi­sion on en­ter­prises that pro­duce food for Hong Kong, and se­verely pun­ish vi­o­la­tors of food safety laws, ac­cord­ing to the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

All pro­duc­ers and pro­cess­ing com­pa­nies for food and agric ul­tural prod­ucts sup­plied to Hong Kong are mon­i­tored by the in­spec­tion and quar­an­tine au­thor­i­ties on the main­land, which cov­ers the whole process in­clud­ing pro­duc­tion, sell­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion to en­sure food safety, Zhi Shup­ing, head of the ad­min­is­tra­tion, said at a news con­fer­ence dur­ing the an­nual ses­sion of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress, China’s top leg­is­la­ture, in March.

In­spec­tion and quar­an­tine au­thor­i­ties have also opened “pri­or­ity cor­ri­dors” for food s u p p l y t o Ho n g Ko n g , s o en­ter­prises sup­ply­ing fresh food to the city do not have to wait for in­spec­tion and Food for thought

LYU XIAOWEI / XIN­HUA

Work­ers pack veg­eta­bles at a store on Cen­tre Street, Hong Kong, in June.

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