Beijing's quarantine authorities destroyed more than 31,000 cans of infant formula imported from Australia on Wednesday after they discovered that the expiration dates had been tampered with.
Two batches of the OZ Milko infant formula, made by OZ Dairy Foods in Melbourne, had their original June 2014 expiration date covered with a stamp reading "September 2015", the Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau found.
Inspectors, who have tightened their checks on imported infant formula products, destroyed one batch of 31,000 cans at Beijing Gaoantun Waste-to-Energy Co on Wednesday afternoon. The other batch of 19,000 cans is being kept at the Tianzhu Free Trade Zone in Beijing, awaiting a customs declaration.
Chinese regulations prohibit altering or tampering with expiration date labels on the packaging of food products.
On Tuesday, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine enacted a new regulation that baby formula products must have labels in Chinese before they can be imported to China.
Feng Qian, deputy director of the division of food safety supervision at the Beijing inspection bureau, said the agency will expand its supervision of imported infant formula products.
"We will further increase spot checks of products and make sure that they all comply with the new regulation," he said.
Feng said the authorities will either return or destroy infant formula imports that do not comply.
A Li, director of the Beijing quarantine authority's Tianzhu Free Trade Zone division, said authorities are still waiting for Australian authorities' investigation results before taking action against the manufacturer.