The Food and Drug Administration seized almost 4,000 items of imported Chinese food from seven Bangkok stores yesterday.
FDA deputy secretary-general Weerachai Nolwachai said his agency had discovered that 3,783 food products sold at the stores had not been certified by the Thai FDA.
“They have no proper labelling for food products, and no Thai labels. None of these products have been registered with the FDA.”
Distributors responsible for imported Chinese food
The goods taken away by Weerachai’s team included processed meat, packaged sauces, instant foods, and ready-to-eat products. The confiscated items were handed over to the Consumer Protection Police Division. About 120 samples were collected for further testing.
Weerachai said that the FDA had instructed its provincial offices of the Public Health Ministry to check local stores in their areas for similar imported products. He stressed that importers and distributors are required to meet Thai law regarding the sale of food products regardless of where those products originate or how they entered the country.
“Even if your customers are mainly Chinese tourists, Chinese people living in Thailand, and Thais of Chinese descent, you still need to comply with Thai law, with no exceptions.”
The Food and Drug Administration has increased attention to imports from China as imported food becomes more common. Imports from China present special difficulties because of the vast array of products, China’s weak enforcement of food safety standards, its heavy use of agricultural chemicals, and its considerable environmental pollution.
Imported Chinese food must be correctly labelled
Weerachai advised consumers that they should buy only products with proper labels in Thai specifying details of the product, including the product’s name, the importer’s name and address, production and expiry dates, and, of course, an FDA registration number.
Questions and complaints can be filed through the FDA Facebook page.
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