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Food safety challenges in China

I recently attended a conference where a presentation was given by Professor Jun Shi Chen from the Chinese center for disease control and prevention. The title of this presentation was food safety challenges in China – perceptions and strategies.

China is a major exporter into the global food supply chain which has been the source of a number of recent food scares. Risk assessing and gathering raw material specifications and supplier audit information from Chinese suppliers can be interesting.

During this presentation two key statistics jumped out at me which highlights the scale of the challenge;

1) There are 200,000,000, yes 200 million farmers in China, source contamination on these farms is a real challenge.

2) There are 500,000 small food manufacturers, but this is only estimated as there are no official statistics.

With a supply chain this vast, how can food safety be managed, I welcome any comments.

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