HA NOI -- Butchers will have to ensure their raw meat and poultry products are sold within a certain period after the time of slaughter, following new measures by the agriculture ministry in an attempt to toughen food safety and hygiene regulations.
Under a newly-issued circular from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development which will take effect from September 3, all products and by-products from animals including heads, tails, legs, skin, grease and edible innards must be sold within eight hours at room temperature.
Meat products stored from 0-5 Celsius degrees can be sold within 72 hours while by-products in the same conditions have 24 hours to be sold.
The measures include a requirement for legal slaughter checking and quarantine stamps on products.
A ban on the use of preservatives on raw products and by-products was also included.
Butchers and all others involved in slaughtering and transport are required to have a certificate issued by a medical unit from district levels.
Last month, there were 16 food poisoning cases nationwide affecting 531 people. Two deaths were reported. In total, some 2,400 people suffered food poisoning, including 16 deaths, in the first seven months of the year. -- VNS