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Mooncakes fail to meet food safety regulations

Update: September, 05/2014 - 08:00
Authorities inspect mooncakes sold on Ba Trieu Street, Ha Noi. The city's food safety and hygiene inspectors found many violations at mooncake manufacturers during their inspections on Wednesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc

HA NOI (VNS) — Ha Noi food safety and hygiene inspectors have found violations at some mooncake manufacturers during their inspection on Wednesday.

The inspection was aimed at checking the quality of cakes for the Mid-Autumn festival which, despite all the cake stalls and lion dancers over the past two weeks, actually falls on next Monday.

They found three bakeries selling mooncakes of dubious origin after inspecting 18 producers.

Tran Ngoc Tu, director of the Ha Noi Food Safety and Hygiene Department, told Kinh te&do thi (Economy and Urban Affairs) newspaper that the inspectors also found three without appropriate water testing certificates.

Seven cake samples have been sent to the National Institute for Food Safety and Hygiene for tests.

As part of the city's inspection plan, the Ha Noi Department of Industry and Trade has checked 19 manufacturers and 62 traders. It fined 17 a total fine of VND54 million (US$2,500) for violations relating to trademarks and quality.

Inspectors also found evidence showing that the Huu Nghi Food Joint-stock Company in Hoang Mai District was copying names of famous brands of the goods.

Deputy director of the Viet Nam Food Administration Nguyen Thanh Phong said at a working session with Ha Noi inspectors on Wednesday that additives and other ingredients without clear origin were often sold in Hang Buom Street and at Dong Xuan Market in Hoan Kiem District to make mooncakes.

Ha Noi authorities therefore needed to increase inspection, he said.

If additives and other ingredients have no proof of origin, inspectors can immediately issue punishments without holding further tests. And the violations must be declared on multi-media, said Phong.

Last month, the National Steering Committee on Food Safety and Hygiene established eight inspection teams to check the quality of big moon-cake producers in 16 major provinces and cities throughout the country, including Ha Noi.

The month-long campaign started from August 20. — VNS

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