The purpose of post-marketing control is to ensure that the foods distributed to consumers are wholesome and have the quality that complies with the national food standards. As a result, this measure deals primarily with the activities of enforcement. Inspections of all food factories and premises throughout the country have been conducted regularly, together with the sampling of food products for analysis and assaying to ensure compliance with legal requirements. In case of violations, actions like seizure, recall, and prosecution are taken. In general, there are two types of inspections:
(1) Regular Inspection
This is a planned inspection to ensure that the FDA annual plan on food is implemented successfully.
- Routine Inspection. This is a periodic inspection particularly to the premises that received licences.
- Follow-up Inspection. This is to confirm that the certain corrective actions by the licence-holders or firms have been taken as indicated after the previous inspection.
- Check Point Inspection. This is done by the food inspectors stationed at the Check Points to ensure the safety of food products entering the country and the compliance with the relevant regulations.
(2) Suspected or Petitioned Inspection
- This is a particular type of inspection with a specific aim of investigating and gathering necessary evidence for legal action.
- This includes an inspection to find out the cause of complaint or rejection from the importing country, so as to solve the problems of food manufacturers and food products.
The Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Public Health, provides food analytical services for all food control activities of the Food and Drug Administration.
For the purpose of administration and facilitating the implementation of food control activities, the system development subdivision plays an important role as an administrator and facilitator for the establishment and development of law and regulations, human resource development, international cooperation and information services. Furthermore, the development of policies and plans for food safety has become a major concern of the food control measures.
The law and regulations have been promulgated and revised regularly. Therefore, a clarification process has to be undertaken, such as informing the public and government personnel of the details and requirements of the regulations, the implementation period, etc. In addition, training courses have been conducted in order to increase the capability of personnel to perform precisely according to the regulations.
The international activities include international meetings on food standards; and bilateral as well as multilateral agreements become more important for the food industries and trade. The Food Control Division, as the regulatory body, has to facilitate and participate in the international forums for negotiation with other countries on food standards or other related aspects.
Apart from this, the Food Control Division also collaborates with other countries for consumer protection, for example, in the Strengthening of Food Sanitation Program, which is supported by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency. The Food Sanitation Training Program (2000–2005) is being implemented in order to develop the food safety in the neighboring countries, i.e. Lao PDR, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.