Ministry: China steps up pre-Lunar New Year food safety
The campaign would focus on seven provinces, including Hebei where the milk contamination scandal began, ministry spokesman Mao Qunan told a news conference.
"Groups and individuals who have broken the law will be dealt with firmly to completely ensure people's food safety over the holiday period," Mao said. "We will report important cases to society in a timely manner."
At least six young Chinese children died from kidney stones and more than 290,000 were made ill from melamine-contaminated milk formula, battering already dented faith in China-made goods and prompting massive recalls of dairy and other food products around the world.
The experts will crack down on non-edible substances and excessive use of additives in food during the busy holiday food sales period, Ministry spokesman Mao Qun'an told a press briefing.
The inspection would cover markets, restaurants and additive producers in the provinces, including Hebei, where the melamine-contaminated milk formula scandal began, Mao said.
"We will severely punish groups or individuals who violate the law," he said. "We will also update the public on major cases across the country."
According to the ministry, the country had screened 22.4 million babies who were fed melamine-tainted formula by the end of December and found 296,000 were sickened. Hospitals treated 52,898 sick babies nationwide, with 52,582 cured.
China has suffered other food additive scandals in the past, including the use of carcinogenic chemicals as food colorings.