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Japan Rejects 68 Batches of Imported Food in March 2022

The major reasons for food rejection in March were the detection of toxic substances, microbial contamination, non-compliant additives and food spoilage.

According to the latest MHLW notification, 68 batches of food products imported from 23 countries/regions were found non-compliant in March 2022.


Among these products, most of them came from China (mostly processed vegetables, fish and shellfish), followed by America (mostly fruits) and Thailand (mostly rice). Besides, the main unqualified categories of the overall rejections were processed fish and shellfish.

The main reasons for the failure of imported food inspection are as follows:

  • Detection of toxic or harmful substances (30.8%)

  • Detection of microbial contamination (22%)

  • Incorrect use of additives (13.2%)

  • Food spoilage (11.8%)

When it comes to incorrect use of food additives, one of the commonplace situations is that the use of food additives is out of range, especially for potassium sorbate. According to the Standards for Use of Food Additives, potassium sorbate can be used in miso as a preservative, but cannot be used in soy sauce. Enterprises should pay more attention to the compliance use of food additives and monitor the regulation updates. Recently, MHLW announced 3-acetyl-2,5-dimethylfuran would be deleted from the positive list of food additives December 31, 2022. Stakeholders shall prepare for enforcement of the new requirements.

Additionally, ChemLinked also found that Japan rejected 12 batches of food contact materials in March, which is mainly due to excessive heavy metals.

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