Home > Division of Food Inspection
With the jurisdiction authorised by Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM), the Division of Food Inspection (DIHA) is responsible for food hygiene inspection in regard to public health as well as the protection, improvement and optimisation of the living standards of Macao residents.
On the aspect of food hygiene inspection, the DIHA supervises the hygiene inspection of imported poultry, livestock and food products at Barrier Gate inspection station, fisheries inspection station, wholesale market, the Macao Slaughterhouse, harbours, Macao International Airport in Taipa, the COTAI Inspection Station and other inspection points. Through close communication and exchange visits between the DIHA and various departments of the IACM, Customs Service, Health Bureau, Economic Services and related government departments in neighbouring regions, the DIHA is committed to enhancing and consistently fulfilling its food hygiene inspection and quarantine functions.
Facing the changes of global atmosphere, economic situation and environment, the rapid development of agricultural technology, and more and more complicated illegal food processing that may increase the risk of food contamination and toxification, and outbreaks of zoonosis, the DIHA implements appropriate measures, such as continuously strengthen its efforts on the monitoring and control of food quality, increase sampling and inspection of imported poultry, livestock and food products. In regard to premise licensing control, the DIHA has increased the frequency of regular on-site hygiene inspections. A rating system has also been implemented to enhance premise monitoring and control for the protection of food sanitary and safety.
* To ensure food safety;
* To optimise quarantine operations;
* To prevent the invasion and spread of infectious diseases.
In accordance with the organisational structure of the IACM, the functions of DIHA under the jurisdiction authorised by the IACM are as follows:
1. In accordance with the law and the stipulations of relevant regulations, to monitor and control the quality of animal-originated food products and perishable fresh food produced in or imported into the Macao SAR for public consumption, by means of veterinary examination and other methods of inspection.
2. To monitor the sanitary conditions of premises for storing and selling the products specified in the above clause.
3. To work with the Department of Civic Affairs and Consultation and to cooperate with other entities or public services departments on request in planning and organising events to promote consumer rights protection and provide merchants with relevant information in regard to the products specified in (I).
4. To implement sanitary inspections on premises where slaughtering or storing domestic animals for public consumption and the vehicles for transporting that animals.
5. To monitor the operations of the Macao Slaughterhouse and wholesale markets.
6. To participate in sanitary events.
The duties of DIHA can be divided into five areas in terms of its job descriptions and nature:
1. Administrative support
2. The Barrier Gate and fisheries inspection stations
3. Wholesale market
5. Import sanitary inspection and hygiene monitoring and control
The operations of each area are managed by designated staff. To meet the technical requirements and enhance the qualifications of staff with different expertise, the DIHA not only regularly organises professional training programmes for all veterinarians and inspection staff. The division also provides an ideal working environment and related facilities for optimising its policies and daily operations.
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.
1. Procedures and inspection appointments of importation license/ importation declaration
Imported inspection must be applied for importing food products which are subject to mandatory inspections and specified in Annex 3 of the Endorsement No. 368/2006 of the Chief Executive of Macao SAR.
2. Premise Licenses for fish and vegetable retailing
All premises for fish and vegetable retailing must obtain the relevant retail licences.
3. Premise Licenses for fresh meat/chilled meat/frozen meat retailing and/or Premise registrations for chilled meat/frozen meat/meat product importing
All premises for fresh, chilled and/or frozen meat retailing or chilled, frozen meat and/or meat products importing must obtain the relevant retail licences and/or imported registrations respectively.
※ For detailed information and charges for the above services, please refer to the IACM’s official website or call the Division of Food Inspection on 8795 2643 ou 8795 2646.