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Food safety a priority as festival season gets started

Update: March, 07/2015 - 09:04
Under the regulation, food businesses must have certificates showing their knowledge of and training in food safety, and sign commitments to ensure food safety during food processing and sale. — File Photo
HA NOI (VNS)  — The Health Ministry has issued a regulation to People's Committees in provinces and cities to strengthen food safety and prevent food poisoning during the 2015 festive season.

The ministry has recommended that the chairmen of provinces and cities and health departments should co-ordinate with relevant units to urgently organise and arrange business locations, support businesses with enough clean water and garbage collection areas, and ensure food safety and hygiene at festival sites.

Under the regulation, food businesses must have certificates showing their knowledge of and training in food safety, and sign commitments to ensure food safety during food processing and sale.

In another effort to make food safer in 2015, the ministry also required provinces and cities to reinforce more inspection teams to examine businesses, deal with violators of regulations, and said that the names of the violators will be made public to protect the customers' right to access safe food.

The local authorities also set up emergency units to treat people affected by food poisoning in order to minimise the impact on public health.

People involved in food processing, and owners or managers need to undergo periodic medical examination and get health certificates. Persons suffering from diseases mentioned on the list approved by the health ministry are not allowed to be directly involved in food processing.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said that 2015 had been named the Year of Food Safety to raise awareness about the need to control food quality.

Tran Minh Thang, a resident in Hai Ba Trung District of Ha Noi who is interested in festivals after the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, said that his family always prepared food at home before going to festival sites because he was afraid of unhygienic food. However, with the new rules, the people participating in festivals could feel secure about food safety, Thang added.

The festival season usually takes place across the country after the Tet holiday and it is difficult to control business operations and to fully ensure food safety at festival sites, so the risk to public health is very high. — VNS

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