"China needs a more integrated network and rapid response system to ensure food safety," Li Chaowei, deputy head of China's Import and Export Food Safety Bureau, was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
Li's statement, made at a Beijing seminar on the European Union's rapid-alert food monitoring system, was a rare admission of shortcomings in monitoring networks by China, which routinely plays up its efforts to improve.
The shortcomings were preventing large numbers of food producers from meeting export requirements, Li said.
"Of China's 400,000 enterprises making food products, only 10 percent are eligible for export. China needs to improve all of these enterprises to have the same top-class management as the 10 percent," he said.
China was seeking foreign expertise to improve its quality control.
"China is looking at practices across the world. We are looking at the EU's (system), as well as the US and Japanese control systems," he said.
In August, the Asian giant began a nationwide product-safety crackdown in a bid to counter a negative image of Chinese-made products -- which was worsened by a string of recent foreign product bans and recalls due to safety issues.