Tuesday, December 6 2016

VietNamNews

Food safety still big canteen problem

Update: May, 19/2015 - 09:16
Health experts said that food poisoning risks remained, and tighter supervision was needed to ensure workers' safety. — Illustrative image/ Photo tuoitrethudo

HA NOI (VNS) — Health experts believe that food safety is still a major problem in big cities and provinces, especially at factory canteens at industrial parks in HCM City and Binh Duong.

Head of HCM City's Food Safety and Hygiene Division Huynh Le Thai Hoa said that food poisoning was a major worry for the city's health sector, especially at industrial parks with big canteens.

Statistics from the city's health sector showed that the city had more than 3,000 canteens at processing and industrial parks, and 1,000 canteens at universities and schools.

Inspections by the health sector showed that a worker's meal cost around VND12,000 to 13,000 (US$ 0.6 - 0.65).

Food suppliers often took a long time to transport cooked food from their kitchens to the canteens, and cooks or servers were unaware of food safety during transport.

"There is still a limited awareness of food safety among producers and traders," said Hoa.

Hoa added that many small food producers and traders still did not ensure food hygiene and safety during production and processing.

Health experts said that food poisoning risks remained, and tighter supervision was needed to ensure workers' safety.

To tackle the problem, the city's Food Safety and Hygiene Division has strengthened communication activities to educate managers, chefs and staff working at canteens and food processing companies.

Food producers and traders have also been asked to sign commitments to obey food safety regulations, and all canteens must be inspected at least once a year. Last year, the city's inspectors conducted more than 3,600 visits during which 107 violations were found and 34 were punished.

The division also has asked localities to tighten the management of food processing and trading companies, canteens and food shops in the city as the hot weather could increase the risk of food poisoning.

These measures are being following a number of recent food poisoning cases in industrial parks recently.

Last month, more than 300 workers at a handbag production company in Long Hau Industrial Park in Long An Province were hospitalised with symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach aches due to food poisoning.

Earlier this year, 80 workers from Wooyang Vina II in District 12 were taken sick with food poisoning, and 65 students from Nguyen Thanh Tuyen Primary School were also recently hospitalised.

The Viet Nam Food Administration has asked provinces and cities nationwide to tighten inspections and management of food shops and suppliers, especially in localities with industrial parks like HCM City and Binh Duong. — VNS

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