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Food safety in Asia: 5 issues to consider

Nine years ago the infant milk scandal triggered alarm among consumers, policymakers and food producers across Asia.

Of thousands of HK food samples, just a handful failed safety tests

All but four out of 9,200 food samples tested for adulteration by Hong Kong government’s Centre for Food Safety in the last year have been found to be satisfactory.

Chinese authorities take to social media to reassure anxious consumers

China’s food regulator has outlined the measures it has been taking to promote safety in the wake of numerous adulteration scandals.

Looming GCC sugar tax could be expanded to include food

Companies will not shoulder the increased cost of a selective tax that could increase the price of soft drinks by half once it is introduced in six Gulf countries.

UAE ban for Croatian poultry as bird flu hits country

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has banned a number of live bird and poultry product imports from Croatia, following an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

South Asia radius

Regulator orders food firms to do more to address consumer complaints

India’s food regulator has met with food companies and state inspectors to raise concerns over their response to consumer complaints mostly concerning packaging. 

Australia’s pork farmers face faeces ‘issue’

Free-range pig farmers in Australia face an emerging issue of pig feed becoming contaminated by duck muck, according to a livestock veterinarian.

South Asia radius

Regulator turns to industry for food-safety partnerships

The Indian food regulator has been co-opting food companies to join it in a drive to improve levels of food safety and hygiene across India. 

Alibaba trials Blockchain in Aus and NZ to tackle food fraud

Alibaba Australia is to trial Blockchain to mitigate the risk of counterfeit and fraudulent food products.

China

Party pressures ministry for stricter penalties for adulteration

China’s lack of specific penalties for food adulterers and counterfeiters has left a “legal vacuum” that will only encourage more criminals to take their chances with the law.

China

Return of deadly bird flu strain prompts agencies to rethink approach

The UN’s agriculture and animal welfare bodies have called for the development of a robust detection and response system to check a resurgent outbreak of an avian influenza strain that...

Australia

Food mould innovator selected to pitch invention to Silicon Valley

An Australian researcher who has discovered how to stop mould growing on fresh food will join a select group of innovators in pitching pitching to big-name backers.

UAE prepares double-pronged assault on nutrition in schools

Dubai’s municipal authorities will soon begin to apply updated nutrition guidelines in school canteens to encourage healthier choices, while Abu Dhabi is engaging a task force to wage war on...

South Asia radius

Drinks companies unite to counter India’s looming health policies

Executives from some of India’s biggest food and beverage companies have begun discussing ways to join forces and lobby the government to abandon plans to squeeze the industry.

Indian regulator claims to have streamlined food import norms

Importers must now obtain licences from the Indian regulator before exporting food to the country, as part of new rules notified this month.

Vietnamese pork regularly contaminated with bacteria, finds study

Pork sold across Vietnam’s wet markets regularly carries food poisoning bacteria, such as Salmonella, according to researchers.

Dateline Southeast Asia

H5N1 outbreak progresses in northern Malaysia

A week after the first cases of H5N1 avian flu were found in northern Malaysia, the outbreak has spread to more districts, though at the time of writing no human...

News in brief

Shanghai tackles food safety with live-streaming app for kitchens

Customers can now watch how dishes are prepared and cooked in the kitchens of thousands of restaurants in Shanghai, as a citywide programme to install a surveillance system continues to...

India

FSSAI extends amnesty for trans fat licences

India’s food regulator has extended the deadline for companies to comply to its notification on the maximum limit of trans fatty acids. 

South Asia radius

Food safety ministry told ‘could do better’ in five-yearly report card

A five-year audit has uncovered severe flaws in India’s food safety apparatus, with the government’s chief auditor accusing officials of botching investigations and employing too few enforcers.

Singapore steps up avian influenza prevention measures

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has moved to reassure consumers that the nation’s poultry and poultry products are safe for consumption following an outbreak of H5N1 avian...

Indian regulator hears further calls for junk food labelling

Nutritionists have once again been calling for food authorities to introduce a labelling system to denote junk food, similar to the green spot that is mandatory for vegetarian foods.

Findings support European model

Kids given alcohol by parents 'less likely to binge drink'

Children whose parents give them alcohol have double the risk of drinking in the longer term, though they are less likely to binge drink.

Fsanz appoints new CEO to replace McCutcheon

Mark Booth has been named as the new chief executive of the antipodean food regulator, after six years as a senior civil servant in the health ministry.

Australia assesses problems from alcohol-related brain damage

About a third of young people in youth detention in Western Australia have alcohol-related brain damage, according to the country’s first study to assess young criminals for the condition.

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