Sanitary inspection of food and licensing of retail establishment

Major duties of the DIHA are:

1. Import sanitary inspection and hygiene monitoring and control
In accordance with the foreign trade law of Macao, most of the imported foods (mainly animal and plant originated products) are subject to mandatory sanitary inspection. Import of foods must be declared in advance and appointments must be made for sanitary inspection. Imported foods must get the approval of the inspection and quarantine before being release in the market.

1) Implementation of inspection on imported foods
Upon arrival of imported foods in Macao, the DIHA will assign veterinarians and inspection staff to the inspection stations, such as the Barrier Gate inspection station, the fisheries inspection station, wholesale market, the Macao Slaughterhouse, harbours and the Macao International Airport, to supervise sanitary inspections of imported poultry, livestock, animal-originated and plant-originated products to ensure the quality, hygiene and safety of food for human consumption.
To improve overall hygiene environment, transportation and the cleanliness of urban districts, two wholesale market inspection stations are set up in Macao specific. Food must get the approval of the inspection before being released for sale in market.
(1) Fisheries inspection station: for wholesale and inspection of fish products.
(2) Macao Wholesale Market: for wholesale of fresh fruit, vegetables, poultry and eggs.

2) Monitoring and control of imported food quality
Facing the changes of global atmosphere, economic situation and environment, the rapid development of agricultural technology, and more and more complicated illegal food production and processing that may increase the risk of food contamination and toxification, and outbreaks of zoonosis, the DIHA implements appropriate measures to continuously strengthen its efforts on the monitoring and control of food quality to prevent spreading or invasion of infectious diseases in Macao. Specific imported food, such as vegetables, poultry, fish, fresh and frozen meat, eggs, fruit and canned foods are subject to sanitary inspection and sampling. Vegetables are subject to pesticide residue tests while poultry are subject to avian flu tests and increase the random sampling checks of imported livestock and food products.

2. Hygiene supervision and inspection of Slaughterhouse
According to the regulations of the IACM, all livestock including pigs, cattle and goats must be slaughtered at the Macao Slaughterhouse.
DIHA responds to supervise the hygiene performance of slaughterhouse by on-site veterinarians and inspection staff to perform ante-and-post-mortem inspection. To ensure the hygiene conditions and safety of fresh meat for human consumption, all carcass and related offal must be passed the veterinary inspection verifying that they are suitable for human consumption before being released for sale in the market.
The health of the animals to be slaughtered must also be ensured to protect slaughterhouse workers and other staff from zoonosis.
Public health is the IACM’s first priority regarding slaughterhouse operations. Its duties include:
(1) Performance ante-and-post-mortem inspections;
(2) Protection of animal rights to prevent maltreatment;
(3) Supervision of transportation of livestock;
(4) Supervision of the slaughtering process, slaughtering method and meat hygiene;
(5) Monitoring the hygiene of the slaughterhouse, slaughtering facilities and meat delivery vehicles;
(6) Supervision of disposal of condemned meat and offal.

3. Premise sanitary supervision and licensing inspection
The DIHA supervises the licensing of premises for frozen, chilled and fresh meat, seafood and vegetables retailing. Regular inspections are carried out to ensure the food supply process is up to the appropriate sanitary standard.
The DIHA carries out regular inspections and annual licensing inspections of the premises under their supervision. Random inspections are also implemented to ensure satisfactory level in all premises.
The results of all inspections are filed for record. Underperformers are not permitted licence renewals.
Inspections are mainly focused on sanitary conditions. Additional advice on facilities and environmental hygiene are required for examination according to different sectors.

4. Food hygiene information collection, investigation and research
Due to the emergence of new technologies, food hygiene problems have become more and more serious in recent years. To ensure food hygiene and safety in Macao, the DIHA continues to collect information on food hygiene and puts more effort into food hygiene investigation, analysis and research. When necessary, risk analysis and assessment of food hygiene incidents are carried out. The DIHA also responds to residents’ complaints about food hygiene, and provides technical advice and assistance on food hygiene regarding the results of other government departments. Promotional and educational information on food hygiene is distributed via publications, the Internet and the events on promoting fresh food hygiene organised every year.

5. Enhancement of external relations for effective food safety control
The DIHA also works closely and holds exchange visits with other IACM departments, Customs Service, Health Bureau, Economic Services and related government departments in neighbouring regions to enhance and consistently fulfil its food sanitary inspection.

Public services

1. Procedures for Processing Import License / Declaration and Advance Booking for Sanitary Inspection
Imported inspection must be applied for importing food products which are subject to mandatory inspections and specified in Annex 3 of the Endorsement No. 487/2016 of the Chief Executive of Macao SAR.
2. License for retail establishemnt of fish
Any establishment that sells fish must obtain the relevant retail license.
3. License for retail establishemnt of vegetable
Any establishment that sellsvegetable must obtain the relevant retail license.
4. License for retail establishment (of fresh meat / chilled meat / frozen meat)
Any establishment that sells (fresh meat / chilled meat / frozen meat)must obtain the relevant retail license.
5. Registration of establishment for import (of chilled meat / frozen meat / meat products)

※ For detailed information and charges for the above services, please referto here or call the Division of Food Inspection on 8795 2643, 8795 2646 or 2833 7676.