Spokesman for the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) Edrees Al-Derees said the Kingdom imports around 70 percent of its food requirements, Makkah daily reported.
He noted that these imports arrive from 160 countries in around half a million consignments, obliging the SFDA to intensify efforts to monitor food shipments to ensure the safety of imported food.
Al-Derees pointed out that the SFDA has set up a separate department for the inspection of food shipments and closely follows any epidemics in countries that export food items to Saudi Arabia.
"These inspections are carried out in all ports of entry and are usually conducted around the clock. Samples are sent to the SFDA laboratories for tests, after which the shipments are allowed into the country," he said.
Al-Derees added that violators are penalized according to pertinent laws and regulations.
The Saudi Gazette