National Food Security Standard (hereinafter referred to as the “National Standard”) is crucial to
anyone who works in the food industry. However, many people are not clear about the classification of
National Standard, which is important to foreign exporters.
Let’s start with the Food Safety Law, which is the
fundamental law of food safety. According to the Food
Safety Law, Chapter 3 Food Safety Standards, Article 25:
Food safety standards shall be standards for mandatory
execution. No mandatory food standards other than food
safety standards may be developed.
Article 26. Food safety standards shall contain:
✔ limits of pathogenic microorganisms, pesticide
residues, residues from veterinary medicines, biological
toxins, heavy metals, and other pollutants, and other
substances hazardous to human health in food, food
additives, and food-related products;
✔ varieties, range of application, and dosages of food
✔ nutritional composition requirements for staple and
supplementary food exclusively for infants and other
particular groups of people
✔ requirements for labels, marks, and instructions
related to health, nutrition, and other food safety
✔ hygienic requirements for the process of food
production or trade;
✔ quality requirements related to food safety;
✔ food inspection methods and procedures related to
food safety; and
✔ others which need to be developed into food safety
Obviously, the upper rank law has provided a clear position
and scope for the national standard of food safety, so next
step we will explain in detail the specific classification of
The first category is common criteria
Common criteria refer to standards that are widely used
and have broad guiding significance as the basis of other
standards within a certain range.
In another word, all food products, no matter what
category they belong to, shall comply with the common
For example, if there is no corresponding food product
standard for a food product imported from abroad, you can
find the corresponding common criteria according to the
food category of the product and comply with the safety
requirements for the food category in the standard.
In this way, the national standard problem in food import
can be solved.
There are 13 common criteria as the list below:
Among the 13 general standards, the following standards
are most commonly used:
✓ General standard for the labelling of prepackaged
foods GB 7718-2011
✓ Standard for nutrition labelling of prepackaged
foods GB 28050-2011
✓ Standard for use of food additives GB 2760-2014
✓ Limits of contaminants in foods GB 2762-2017
✓ Limit of pathogen in prepackaged foods GB 29921-2021
Due to space reasons, the content of the standard will
not be explained in detail here. Readers can search about
the detailed standard and find the explanation by the
professional practitioners of food regulation in accordance
with specific situation.
It is hereby noted that clarified that the use of “most” and
other superlatives in this article is to impress the readers
and not the absolute words.
The second category is standard of food products
A total of 70 national standards are formulated for major
food categories (important to people's livelihood), such
as various dairy products, rice and flour products, meat
products, candy products, seasoning products, etc.
The third category is special dietary food standards,
which is used for specific consumer groups such as infant
formula and other special food. Relevant national standards
shall be abided by. There are 10 standards in total:
The fourth category is quality specifications and
relevant standards of food additives
This category has the most national standards, 646 in total.
All the food additives shall abide by this kind of standard,
which will not be listed here due to space reasons.
The fifth category is quality specification and standard
of food nutrition fortifier
There are 53 standards in total. All the food nutrition
fortifier shall abide by this kind of standard, which will not
be listed here due to space reasons.
The sixth category is food related product standards
There are 15 standards in total. Food related products
refer to food packaging materials, containers, detergents,
disinfectants, etc. and there are 3 important standards:
➤ detergent GB 14930.1-2015
➤ disinfectants GB 14930.2-2012
➤ General safety requirements on food contact
materials and articles GB 4806.1-2016
The seventh category is production and operation
specifications and standards
There are 34 standards in total, which shall be abided by
during the production and operation of the food. There are
two important standards:
➤ General hygienic standard for food production
➤ Code of hygienic practice in food business process
The remaining standards are various test methods,
including 234 physical and chemical test methods,
32 microbiological test methods, 29 toxicological test
methods and procedures, 120 pesticide residue test
methods and 74 veterinary drug residue test methods.
The above analysis is based on the announcement of
the Food Safety Standards Monitoring and Evaluation
Department of National Health Commission in February
2022, which is the latest official announcement.
It is hoped that the popularization of science will help
nonprofessionals of food regulation to have a preliminary
understanding of national standards of food safety.
HFG Law&Intellectual Property