China's food safety situation remains grim and still prone to a high level of risk, the country's health ministry has warned.

In a statement issued to welcome the passing of a new food safety law at the weekend, the ministry said that any relaxation in supervision would be unacceptable.

"Full efforts should be made to solve the important problems and complex contradictions," the release on the ministry's website said yesterday (2 March).

China's food safety record has become a major concern for both domestic and foreign governments following a series of scandals, including last year's contamination of milk powder with melamine.

Experts say a new food safety law, entering into effect on 1 June, will not solve all the problems. There will still be several government agencies involved in monitoring food safety, creating potential risks of poor communication and co-ordination. 

The health ministry statement pledged that regional governments and senior officials would be held responsible for serious incidents caused by oversight. It also noted that standardised dairy rules would be issued by the second half of the year to iron out the gaps and overlapping areas in regional laws. 

The ministry also wants to boost its communication efforts surrounding its work on food safety to improve consumer confidence.