Food Safety

Plant Explosions & Selling Dead Pigs Food Safety and Worker Safety Continues to be a Problem in China


I was recently traveling in China and South East Asia and noticed a small article in the Global edition of CHINA DAILY dated Dec 4, 2019 and a similar one in the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) of the same date.

The headlines read: “Blast at Food Factory Kills Four, Injures 10” and “Four Killed in Explosion at Food Processing Factory.”

The explosion and ensuing fire occurred at a food processing factory in Beijing’s Shunyi district.  The plant is part of Kyo-Nichi Todai Foods Co., owned by Tokyo Boeki Holdings Corporation in Japan.  I’m not familiar with this plant but apparently it was founded in 1987 and specializes in processing 70,000 tons annually of fruit and vegetable fillings and bean paste products for export to Japan, Southeast Asia and the United States.

One article was quick to mention that according to the “Ministry of Emergency Management, the number of industrial accidents fell by 19.8 percent and the number of deaths declined by 18.9 percent in the first six months compared with the same time last year.”  It wasn’t clear if these figures referred to accidents/deaths in food production companies only.

And to give people some added comfort “the Beijing municipal government will carry out a citywide safety inspection soon to ensure production and firefighting safety.” Really?

Slaughtering of Dead & Sick Pigs Closes Model Plant

On the same day under the “Hygiene” section of the South China Morning Post another article described how a slaughterhouse in Foshan, Guangdong Province (southern China) was closed due to the apparent slaughtering of dead and sick pigs that ended up on the market.  The plant was exposed in a television program broadcast by Guangdong Radio and Television after an undercover reporter was approached at the slaughterhouse and offered two dead pigs for 300 yuan (about HK$334 or US$42 each).

He saw another dead pig being processed, butchered and then marked as having been inspected and cleared for sale.  While some staff initially refused to process the dead pigs, they later complied after being paid a bribe of at least 100 yuan (about US$14).  The newly stamped and inspected pigs were then transported to a wet market in Huangpu district about 60 km away where they were offered for sale.  “See the fresh pork.  It’s still warm” one stall owner claimed (and was filmed as saying).

This slaughterhouse had previously been considered an “example enterprise” for pig slaughter by the province’s agricultural department. In addition to slaughtering dead pigs, the plant was accused of selling some parts of the pig that had died from disease and should have been burned.  It was ordered closed and staff were removed by police.  And now “the authorities have been ordered to inspect all pig slaughterhouses in the Nanhai district.”

This report on December 4, 2019 came at a time when African Swine Fever had already decimated 50% of China’s hog herd and pork prices were soaring.  The news article didn’t mention if any of the slaughtered dead pigs actually had swine fever.  But who can be sure?

Luckily, I am a vegetarian so pork isn’t an item on the menu that I would choose…but it makes one awfully nervous when considering what to eat and where to eat in China these days.  There is MUCH to be done in the area of food and plant safety and I wonder if China will ever be ready to meet our current FSMA requirements.  To be fair…there are many plants that are NOT like the ones mentioned above and are working hard to be in compliance.  They just seem to be few and far between right now.

Noon International has boots on the ground in China and has been working there for over 30 years.  We’re happy to assist with any product inquiries you may have for China products.  But don’t kid yourself.  You have to be there or have folks you trust to watch and monitor production.  Every step of the way.

By Lily Noon


  1. South China Morning Post, Dec 4, 2019 “Guangdong slaughterhouse closed after TV probe.” Zhuang Pinghui
  2. South China Morning Post, Dec 4, 2019 “Four Killed in explosion at food processing factory.” Zhuang Pinghui
  3. China Daily Global Edition, Dec 4, 2019 “Blast at food factory kills four, injures 10” Xin Wen












Noon Internationalでは、中国で30年以上の取引の実績があり、現地に根を張っています。中国産の製品に対するお問い合わせにも、喜んでご対応させていただきます。ただし、くれぐれも過信は禁物です。自ら現地に赴くか、信頼できる現地の人に依頼して、生産現場を監視する必要があります。すべての工程に目を光らせなければなりません。


Lily Noon


  1. South China Morning Post, Dec 4, 2019 “Guangdong slaughterhouse closed after TV probe.” Zhuang Pinghui(南華早報、2019年12月4日付け、「広東の解体工場、テレビ報道後に閉鎖」、記者:Zhuang Pinghui)
  2. South China Morning Post, Dec 4, 2019 “Four Killed in explosion at food processing factory.” Zhuang Pinghui(南華早報、2019年12月4日付け、「食品加工工場の爆発で4人死亡」、記者:Zhuang Pinghui)
  3. China Daily Global Edition, Dec 4, 2019 “Blast at food factory kills four, injures 10” Xin Wen(中国日報、2019年12月4日付け、「工場爆発で4人死亡、10人負傷」、記者:Xin Wen)

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