All Poultry Meat Will be Sold Packaged in South Korea

SOUTH KOREA - From 2010, all poultry meat will be sold in packs - one of a series of new measures to improve food safety.
calendar icon 21 May 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

A package of measures to enhance the general level of food safety was decided on at a meeting presided over by Prime Minister, Han Seung-soo, at the government complex in central Seoul yesterday, reports Korea Times.

Among these is that all poultry meat will be marketed in packages, starting in 2010. Coastal areas will be also classified according to the level of pollution, and fish and other marine products will be designated accordingly. Furthermore, 'food profiling' will be implemented in order to set safety standards for 500 foods and dishes, while those not passing the standards will not be allowed for sale.

This year, safety standards will be set for 100 foods and food products. They include kimchi, tofu, ramyon or instand noodles, instant coffee and hamburgers. The standards cover bacteria and other harmful elements.

Those that are found to contain more harmful elements than allowed will be taken off the market with the makers subject to intensive investigations. Until now, health authorities have dealt with food problems on a case-by-case basis, conducting crackdowns only after the problem becomes fully fledged.

Under the plan, a database of harmful materials will be set up, including their effects by amount on the human body. This data will be applied to determine whether a product may stay on market or should be removed.

There will be greater scrutiny of imported foods, which account for 70 per cent of consumption. A state-private food inspector will be set up in China, the main source of imported foods, and more inspections will be recommended for slaughterhouses that process imported meat.

For 10 big domestic slaughterhouses, it will be mandatory to install a system to eliminate specific risk materials (SRMs) that are internationally recognised for their potential to cause BSE.

Korea Times reports that also under consideration following the meeting are the drawing-up of plans to research the effects of climate change on food poisoning and the designation of standards on food additives. In order to bring about consumers' participation, systems will be set up to check calories contained in foods online, and to encourage consumer activists to publish the results of their own studies.

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