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Cereal-Based Complementary Baby Food Subject to More Stringent Supervision in China

  •   28 Dec 2018
  •    Yilia Ye
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    • The major food raw materials like rice are subject to heavy metal testing of each batch, and the final products shall undergo internal inspection before delivery.

    On Dec. 25, 2018, China SAMR released the provision of further strengthening the supervision of cereal-based complementary baby food. It is worth noting that the requirement of food raw materials inspection and pre-release warehouse inspection have been developed to deal with excessive heavy metals issues that frequently occur in the complementary baby food sector.

    Item number 5 of the new provision stipulates that the manufacturers of cereal-based complementary baby food need to carry out onsite evaluation of their major food raw materials suppliers at least one time per year. Additionally, if the complementary baby food is made from rice, the manufacturers are required to conduct heavy metal testing (including lead and cadmium) of each batch of rice.

    As for the pre-release inspection system, complementary baby food products shall undergo internal inspection before delivery, and it is highlighted that the cadmium concentration should strictly follow the temporary maximum limit of 0.06 mg/kg.

    Here are other requirements related to complementary baby food production:

    • Sub-packaging is strictly forbidden in complementary baby food production, and manufacturers producing bulk goods without a final sales package will not be granted a production license.
    • Enterprises who entrust another for production shall bear the main responsibility of product safety, and the entrusted party shall make sure the food products comply with quality standards.

    Currently the complementary baby food sector is comparatively underdeveloped in China and has been characterized by relatively lax regulation and patchy supervision and enforcement of standards. In 2013, 23 batches of complementary food from Beingmate, Heinz and etc. were found to contain excessive Mercury levels. In 2015 the production license of 37 complementary baby food enterprises were canceled in Jiangxi mainly due to tampering with the production dates.

    Reference link

    SAMR notification

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