Is it safe to eat food products from China?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the question, “is it safe to eat food products from China?”. As well we will discuss what occurs with the contaminated seafood from china, why are food products from China always on alert, and other concerns about food products from China.

Is it safe to eat food products from China?

Some products from China can not be safe to eat, mainly seafood from China. However, you cannot generalize all of them. So, it is better to check if the food product is safe to eat and always be attentive to safety alerts and food recalls by the federal authorities of your country. 

What can happen if I eat contaminated food products?

If you ate contaminated products, you may have some symptoms or not, it will depend on the origin of the contamination, which can be microorganisms, such as bacteria, parasites, viruses, and also chemicals like heavy metals. 

What occurs with the contaminated seafood from china?

The import alert from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) points out that since 2007 when were found drug residues of nitrofurans, malachite green, and fluoroquinolones have been found in seafood, and noted that these concerns continue to date of 2021.

Why is finding these drug residues in seafood a public health concern?

According to the FDA, these specific drug residues in seafood contribute to increasing the antimicrobial resistance in human pathogens, and if contaminated seafood is consumed for a prolonged period can cause cancer. 

What is another problem with products from China?

In 2007, FDA announced the recall of pet food from China that was contaminated with melamine, which is a chemical used in industries. Some cats and dogs that ate the pet food died and others got sick.  

There is another case involving tainted toothpaste from China. The tainted toothpaste was contaminated with a poisonous chemical, the diethylene glycol, and can be very dangerous for children and people with dysfunction in the liver or in the kidney. 

Why are food products from China always on alert?

According to WebMD, the food safety standards applied in China are not too high when compared to the U.S. or, when compared to the Europe Commission, as both of them are very rigid.  

How much does China contribute to the seafood in the world?

According to the Government of Canada, China was in the second position as the importer of seafood and fish in the world in 2020, but by volume, China is in the first position in the world. According to the FDA, China is the major producer of seafood in the world. 

Where did the fish and seafood come to China?

According to the Government of Canada, China receives fish and seafood products mainly from Russia, India, Ecuador, Peru, Vietnam, Canada, Norway, and the United States, however, Russia is the largest supplier.

Does China re-export the received fish and seafood?

Yes, according to China Dialogue Ocean, China processes the imported seafood and then re-exports it to other countries, which makes it difficult for tracking the origin of catches. About 74.9% of China’s imports are sold to other countries. 

How can I know if the origin of the fish is safe?

When buying fish, it is always good to know where the fish came from, and with that information, some organizations can help you to know if the country has been certified, like the Ocean Wise. You can click here to check their website. 

How can I know if the other food products from China are safe to eat?

It is difficult to know if the food products are safe to consume, however, when buying food products from China, it is better to buy them from supermarkets or from big brands, which will lower the chance of buying contaminated food products. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have discussed the question, “is it safe to eat food products from China?”. As well we have discussed what occurs with the contaminated seafood from china, why are food products from China always on alert, and other concerns about food products from China.

References

https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/recalls-withdrawals/melamine-pet-food-recall-2007   Accessed: 05/15/2022 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-toothpaste-fda-idUSWAT00764420070601 Accessed: 05/15/2022 

https://agriculture.canada.ca/en/international-trade/market-intelligence/reports/sector-trend-analysis-fish-and-seafood-trends-china Accessed: 05/15/2022 

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cms_ia/importalert_33.html Accessed: 05/15/2022 

https://chinadialogueocean.net/en/fisheries/china-re-exports-most-of-the-seafood-it-imports/ Accessed: 05/15/2022 

https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/how-safe-is-imported-food Accessed: 05/15/2022 

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.