China to strengthen supervision of imported cold-chain foods

BEIJING, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) — China will take measures to realize full-chain, closed-loop, traceable management of imported cold-chain foods to minimize importation risks of COVID-19, according to a plan released by the State Council joint prevention and control mechanism against COVID-19 on Monday.

To effectively block the transmission of COVID-19 through imported cold-chain foods, complete disinfection of those products will be carried out while novel coronavirus tests will be conducted at the ports, according to the plan.

For imported cold-chain foods that test negative for the virus, the interiors of cold chain vans and the outer packaging of the foods should be disinfected before being transported. The foods that test positive for COVID-19 will be returned or destroyed.

The plan requires cold-chain logistics firms to strictly check customs clearance documents for imported cold-chain foods and disinfect vehicles, ships, and other transportation equipment. Workers who have direct contact with the foods should take protective measures.

Cold storages should keep records of imported cold-chain foods coming in and out, and the records should be kept for at least two years, read the plan.

Efforts should go into ensuring all the imported cold-chain foods entering the market are traceable, the plan said.

The plan also requires improving customs clearance efficiency of the ports to avoid overstocking and safeguarding the stability of the industrial and supply chain. 

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