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97.6% of food in China passed checks in 2017

China’s top food safety watchdog says 97.6 percent of the samples tested last year met safety standards, which is 0.8 percent higher than 2016 and 2015. The inspectors checked 230,000 batches of food and recalled over 1,000 tons.

Sun Meijun, deputy chief of China Food and Drug Administration said at a news conference on Jan 23, “32.7 percent of the below-standard samples had microbial contamination issues. 23.9 percent had food additives problems, 9.6 percent pesticide and veterinary drug problems and 8 percent heavy-metal contamination issues.”

Food safety is of major public concern in China, following scares in previous years like melamine in milk and Sudan red in eggs.

The authority focused on these problems in particular. The safety rate for baby formula last year was 99.5 percent, with the main problems concerning tags. Melamine hasn’t been detected in the past nine years. Sudan Red hasn’t been found in egg products for four years.

“Aside from daily checks, we also checked big companies. We took action to address major problems. We investigated and dealt with almost 260,000 food safety cases last year,” Sun said at the news conference.

But even a 0.1 percent rate of danger in food means a 100 percent risk for consumers. The authority says they plan to check five times as many batches in 2018.