Date Published: 26 September 2008

Concern about milk imports from China to EU

Health Food - illustrating an item from the UK Food Standards Agency.

The European Commission has asked EU Member States to carry out checks on all products imported from China that contain over 15% milk.

As part of their normal regime, local authorities at seaports and airports carry out regular checks on imported food to ensure that it meets strict EU food safety requirements.

All products from China containing more than 15% milk as an ingredient, or products where the percentage of milk content cannot be established, will be subject to documentary, identity and physical checks, including laboratory analysis, to determine that any levels of melamine present in the product do not exceed 2.5 mg/kg. Those products with more than 2.5mg/kg will be destroyed.

The Food Standards Agency works with port health authorities and local authorities to ensure EU controls are strictly enforced. There has been a longstanding ban on the import of milk and other products of animal origin from China as controls on the food industry in China do not meet the very strict requirements set in the EU.

At present, we have no evidence of contaminated products in the UK. Should any be found, we will take appropriate action and provide updates online.

The Agency has today written to ports and local authorities across the country to alert them to this new testing regime. The letters can be found at the links below.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has confirmed that the risk from these composite products (food containing a proportion of milk product) is low.


Source: Food Standards Agency (FSA), UK.

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