SGS Announces China New Publication of National Safety Standard to Set Limits for Pathogens in Food

On 26 December 2013, the National Health and Family Planning Commission - Food Safety Standards and Monitoring and Evaluation Division published Bulletin No.11 of 2013(1), announcing China national safety standard, GB 29921-2013 the National Food Safety Standard Pathogens limits in food, effective from 1 July 2014.

Shanghai, China, March 15, 2014 --( New National Food Safety Standard in China

The new Chinese standard sets limits for pathogens in food and is an important part of the foundation of food safety standards. The purpose of this new standard is to monitor Chinese food for pathogens. This standard refers to food pathogen limits of Codex Alimentarius, European Union, Australia/New Zealand, Japan, the U.S.A., Hong Kong, Taiwan and other countries.

China to Analyze Food Poisoning Incidents Caused by Pathogens

According to the analysis of the 1503 reported cases of food poisoning incidents between 2005 and 2011, the related food types mainly included ready-to-eat and raw foods. Classification is based on GB 2760-2011, but according to the pathogen characteristics and food processing methods, the following foods are listed most frequently: meat products, fishery products, ready-to-eat egg products, cereal products, chocolates and cocoa products, ready-to-eat processed fruits and vegetables, beverages and frozen drinks, ready-to-eat spices, nuts and seeds products - a total of 9 categories of food products that have been stipulated. Neither non-ready-to-eat fresh foods nor dairy products are specified in this standard.

According to analysis, the pathogen indicators, limits and sampling programs of the 562 current Chinese standards, combined with the monitoring results of the national food safety risk, were modified. Meanwhile, the 2-class or 3-class sampling plans were proposed.

Food Safety Requirements for Prepackaged Food

This new standard is applicable to prepackaged food, and provides a list of pathogen indicators, limit requirements and test methods. Meanwhile, in the development process of this standard, advice was widely sought from public and relevant departments to ensure the scientific nature, openness and transparency of the standard and facilitate the acceptance by the WHO affiliates.

SGS laboratories, equipped with the most advanced instruments for analysis, have microbiological testing capabilities in many countries. In mainland China, to follow the new Chinese regulation, SGS can test all the pathogen items in GB 29921-2013 and provides food safety services for the food industry.


(1) Bulletin No.11 of 2013 (

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Contact details:

SGS Consumer Testing Services
Roy Zhao
Technical and R&D Manager
5/F, 3rd Building
No.889 Yishan Road
200233 Shanghai, China
t: +86 21 61072711

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world.
Roy Zhao
+86 21 61072711
5/F, 3rd Building
No.889 Yishan Road
200233 Shanghai, China