MACAO, 17 June. The Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) continuously monitored the food sold in the market through the usual surveillance system and inspection regime. In just five months of this year, 34 cases were initiated on imported food products that did not pass sanitary inspection and tests in accordance with the law. A total of 18 cases involved prepackaged duck blood products. The IAM reminds the food sector that attention must be paid to food ingredients and any food subject to mandatory testing and verification must be truthful and pass the verification process.

More than half of the 34 cases (about 53%) involved the production and use of prepackaged duck blood products that were not tested and validated. IAM immediately confiscated the relevant products and initiated legal action in accordance with the law. IAM constantly conducts inspections and monitoring. When the manufacture, use or sale of food products that are required by law to be tested but have not been tested is found, IAM initiates prosecution under the Food Safety Act. An act constituting a criminal offense is punishable by imprisonment for up to 5 years or a fine up to 600 days. Actions constituting an administrative offense are punishable by a maximum fine of MOP 50,000 to MOP 600,000.

Unchecked meat or food of animal origin may contain pathogens that can be transmitted through contact or infected animals, and the consumption of contaminated food poses some food safety risk. IAM reminds those who import and buy food online or act as food buying and dispensing agents that if their business involves the importation of food of animal origin or products made from ingredients of animal origin, including meat, aquatic products and blood products, they must inquire from manufacturers or suppliers of the ingredients and characteristics of these food products, request commodity codes (TN VED codes) of food products through the Statistics and Census Service and compare them with the list of goods subject to inspection, truthfully declare products to competent authorities and subject the products to sanitary control and testing, as well as submit for approval the documentary evidence of hygiene and relevant sanitary inspection documents issued by the government of origin. Only products that have passed the inspection procedure can be on the market, otherwise you must bear legal responsibility in accordance with the law. Food industry representatives can call the Food Safety Hotline on 2833 8181 for information and inquiries prior to importing and selling relevant food.

In addition, IAM reminds consumers that they should buy food from reputable, hygienic and reliable stores. When buying food online or from sales agents, they must clearly know the source and ingredients of the products in order to better protect their health and food safety.

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