China to Lift Ban on Korean Kimchi
kpride, Feb. 27, 2015, 9:10 a.m.
China is expected to lift a ban on kimchi imports from Korea later this year. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Thursday said China's National Health and Family Planning Commission announced on its website on Feb. 11 plans to ease regulations on the permitted level of coliform bacteria so kimchi imports can resume.
China uses the coliform bacteria count as an indicator of the sanitary quality of food products and water. But fermented foods such as kimchi usually show high levels, though the bacteria found in kimchi are not hazardous to health and are naturally destroyed during the fermentation process.
Other countries do not apply this rule for kimchi. Korea, which has no such restrictions, imports more than US$100 million worth of kimchi from China every year. The Chinese government will gather opinions from domestic manufacturers and WTO members before producing a new set of regulations.