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Hong Kong to adjust import control on Japanese food
Last Updated: 2018-07-23 10:46 | Xinhua
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The food safety authority of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) announced Friday that food import from four Japanese prefectures affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster would be permitted with conditions from July 24.

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) of the HKSAR government's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department imposed import restrictions on vegetables, fruits and diary products from five Japanese prefectures, Fukushima and nearby Ibaraki, Tochigi, Chiba and Gunma.

According to a Food Safety Order issued by the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene and published in the HKSAR government's Gazette on Friday, with effect from noon on July 24, the food import from Ibaraki, Tochigi, Chiba and Gunma into Hong Kong are permitted with conditions, while the import ban on products from Fukushima will remain in force.

According to the order, each consignment of vegetables, fruits, milk, milk beverages and dried milk from the four prefectures must be accompanied with radiation certificates issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) of Japan. The exporter concerned must also hold and produce a valid exporter certificate issued by the MAFF to certify that those food products exported to Hong Kong are readily available for sale in Japan and are fit for human consumption as far as radiological protection is concerned.

Stressing that "ensuring food safety is the government's prime consideration", a CFS spokesman said the center has tested more than 490,000 samples of food products imported from Japan since March 24, 2011, and none of them had radiation levels exceeding the guideline levels of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex).

The spokesman said the measures listed in the Food Safety Order are similar to the existing import requirements on game, meat, poultry, poultry eggs and aquatic products from the four prefectures, and are buttressed by the exporter certificate as an additional safeguard.

The CFS will also continue to conduct radiation tests on every consignment of food products imported from Japan, and strengthen inspection and radiation testing on vegetables, fruits and milk products from the four prefectures.

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