|Authorities inspect food selling at a market. About 20 people died in 129 food poisoning cases nationwide during the first nine months of 2015. — VNA/VNS Photo
HA NOI — The health ministry's Viet Nam Food Administration (VFA) said 20 people died in 129 food poisoning cases nationwide during the first nine months of 2015.
Among them were 28 cases of group poisonings, with 3,436 people getting infected.
The number of food poisoning cases in 2015 fell by 19 (12.8 per cent), while there were 404 fewer cases of infections (10.5 per cent) and nine fewer deaths (31 per cent), compared to the same period
last year, VFA Food Poisoning Supervision Division head Lam
Quoc Hung said.
He said though cases of food poisoning had fallen, there was still a high risk of food poisoning in the last few months of this year, especially in family kitchens.
"About 64 out of the total 129 food poisoning cases happened in family kitchens. This shows there are several shortcomings in family kitchens, especially in the use of unsafe foods such as puffer-fish, wild mushrooms and insects," Hung said.
In addition, cases of group poisoning may occur in canteens of industrial and processing parks due to the use of materials whose origins are suspect or have been produced by small-scale households.
FAV Director Nguyen Thanh Phong said FAV would strengthen food safety inspections and supervisions in 10 districts and 20 wards and in the communes of Ha Noi and HCM City in the coming months.
For the first time, Viet Nam will pilot food safety inspections at the district and commune levels, compared to the provincial and city-level inspections in the previous years, Phong said.
FAV has punished 172 companies that violated food hygiene and safety regulations, and has imposed fines amounting to more than VND3 billion (US$133,000) since the beginning of this year. — VNS