HCM CITY (VNS)— Teams of inspectors will begin checking retail and wholesale goods in major cities to ensure food safety for the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.
The Ministry of Health's Food Hygiene and Safety Department said that holiday items such as cakes, candies, fruits and other goods would be inspected.
Tran Quang Trung, the department's head, said inspectors would focus on both retail and wholesale markets as well as supermarkets in large cities such as Ha Noi, HCM City, Hai Phong and Da Nang.
Last month, the Government issued a decree on food-safety violations that will take effect on December 25. The maximum fine will be VND100 million (US$4,761).
Fines will be handed out for below-standard meat or meat processed without mandated standards or veterinary checks.
The fines for such violations will be increased from VND50,000-100,000 ($2.4-$4.8) to VND3 million –VND5 million ($142.9-$23.8).
Banned chemicals used in processed food will be fined VND30 million-VND50 million ($1,428-$2,380).
Nguyen Thanh Phong, the department's deputy head, said that 67 food-poisoning cases nationwide occurred during this year's third quarter, with more than 2,200 hospitalised victims.
Of the total number of victims, 15 people died. The number of food-poisoning cases in industrial parks accounted for 17 per cent of the total number.—VNS