China and the EU have signed an updated memorandum of understanding on improving food product and ingredient safety cooperation and guarantees.

Negotiated following China's melamine contamination scandal, the new agreement provides for joint enforcement actions. European and Chinese health inspectors will carry out coordinated and simultaneous checks on particular food sectors to check product safety standards.

The EU has also agreed to provide China with immediate access to any alerts concerning Chinese food exports circulated by the EU's rapid alert system for feed and food.

The new agreement also clarifies confidentiality rules regarding the exchange of information on unsafe products.

Welcoming the deal at an EU-US-China meeting on product safety in Brussels, EU consumer affairs commissioner Meglena Kuneva said: "Trust is the currency of the global economy."