Half of kimchi at Korean restaurants from China: report

Koreans consumed 1.85 million tons of kimchi, up 15 per cent from the previous year.
Koreans consumed 1.85 million tons of kimchi, up 15 per cent from the previous year.PHOTO: ST FILE

(THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Nearly half of all kimchi served at restaurants and food service facilities is from China, a survey showed on Monday (Oct 9). 

According to the report on trends in the kimchi industry in 2016 by the World Institute of Kimchi, 13.7 per cent of the kimchi consumed in Korea was imported. Some 47 per cent of the kimchi served at restaurants and cafeterias was from abroad, with 90 per cent of it from China.

Koreans consumed 1.85 million tons of kimchi, up 15 per cent from the previous year – 36.1kg of kimchi a person last year on average.

Some 63 per cent of the kimchi was made at home, while the rest was purchased ready-made. 

The kimchi institute urged the government to draw up proper guidelines for imported kimchi, citing growing public anxiety over food safety. 

“While the kimchi manufacturers in Korea are required to meet Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point rules (to assure food safety), most of the kimchi imported from China is not,” said the institute, citing preservatives, artificial sweeteners and germs detected in Chinese kimchi in recent years. 

“There should be measures to manage the hygiene and safety of kimchi.”