BEIJING - China's food safety crisis has tarnished its reputation abroad and threatens to spur social unrest at home, where more health scares are expected, a top official was quoted as saying Monday.

Sun Xianze, an official with the State Food and Drug Administration, called on his colleagues over the weekend to urgently step up food supervision, the official China Daily newspaper reported.

"Food security problems have impeded Chinese agri-products and food many times in international trade, and damaged our national credibility and image," Sun was quoted as saying by on Monday.

The Chinese government has been trying to toughen product supervision amid mounting criticism -- at home and abroad -- that the quality of its drug, food and other products is poorly regulated.

In a seminar on Saturday, Sun said that future food safety accidents would likely be caused by residual pesticides and veterinary drugs in food, the use of industrial ingredients in food manufacturing and dangerous bacteria, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

"Food safety accidents and individual cases will not only affect the healthy development of the industry but could also impact local economies and social stability," said Sun, who is director of the agency's food safety coordination department,

He listed domestic cases from the past year including drug-tainted fish, banned Sudan dye used to color egg yolks red, and pork tainted with clenbuterol, a banned feed additive.