China has added preserved fruits to its increasing list of blacklisted food items after they were found to be processed in contaminated factories and containing excessive additives.
China's quality custodian, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, has issued orders for inspection of the country's major preserved-fruits producers in response to rising concerns.
The authority has ordered local regulators to probe into the fruit processing units of several firms in Hangzhou city in Eastern China, xinhuanet.com reported.
The firms, which allegedly violated safety standards and used excessive additives in the processing of fruits, included Lingjin, Meiyuan and Chaoda.
These products, manufactured in foul factories and containing unreasonable additives, were distributed to various major local stores, including snack chains Laiyifen and Baiweilin, as well as to international retail chians such as Walmart.
According to the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau, over 7,800kg of preserved fruits, both from Laiyifen and supermarkets, were pulled off from shelves.
This month, China also announced plans to withdraw 38 types of food additive from the market, due to increasing concerns over food safety.
The targeted food additives are used in various food products, including candies, cakes, and canned meat and fruit.
In recent years, China has been facing repeated scandals in the food industry, including tainted milk and 'gutter oil', resulting in growing public concerns.
In order to address the issue, the country's National Development and Reform Committee, along with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, unveiled a development plan for the food industry.
The new development plan is believed to speed up the construction of a food tracking system during the 2011-2015 period, and improve quality supervision.
Under the plan, the country will also promote the application of 'Internet-of-Things' technology, where individual items are recorded and logged online, while enhancing the information service mechanism that tracks food producers.
Image: This month, China announced plans to withdraw 38 types of food additive from the market, due to increasing concerns over food safety. Photo: Aviad Bublil.