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Ha Noi authorities to tighten food safety inspections

Update: December, 15/2015 - 17:00
The inspections will focus on facilities producing, processing and trading products that are mainly used during the Tet holiday and festivals, such as meat and meat products, beverages, alcoholic drinks and confectionary. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Duy

HA NOI (VNS) — City authorities will strictly inspect large food processing plants, wholesale markets, supermarkets and shopping malls, besides small street vendors to prevent food poisoning during the Tet holiday and festivals.

The Ha Noi People's Committee will uniformly implement all necessary measures to curb unhygienic food and food of unknown origins for the next three months, starting from December 20.

The inspections will focus on facilities producing, processing and trading products that are mainly used during the Tet holiday and festivals, such as meat and meat products, beverages, alcoholic drinks and confectionary.

The committee will organise six teams to inspect food safety and hygiene at large production plants and service facilities, and to check the implementation at the grassroots level. Districts will establish inspection teams to check small facilities.

Tran Xuan Ha, deputy chief of the Ha Noi Propaganda Committee, said the spreading of awareness on food safety and hygiene has been ongoing for many years. However, inspection and control need to be tightened and violations of regulations need to be handled thoroughly.

Ha said the sanctions on those violating regulations on selling of unhygienic food must be upgraded to prevent any recurrence.

To protect themselves, consumers should complain and inform relevant authorities when they see unsafe food or violations of regulations, and should choose products that have been stamped and have expiry dates.

"Along with inspections and sanctions, all facilities that violate regulations and their locations must be made public to the media, especially those importing unhygienic food, expired food or food without stamps. Once every measure is implemented, the law breakers will stop their violations," Ha said.

The Ha Noi Industry and Trade Department (ITD) said it would co-operate with people's committees at grassroots levels to organise training courses in localities for local food safety officials and boost awareness about food safety and hygiene.

Local businesses operating in areas where festivals are held must commit not to use food of unknown origin and not meeting safety standards.

However, food safety and hygiene in the capital is still a serious issue, with unsafe meat and vegetables being sold in wholesale markets, supermarkets, shopping malls and flea markets. A majority of the consumers continues to buy cheap food without considering quality and the expiry date. Some are deeply concerned following media reports.

Therefore, ITD will co-operate with the agricultural and rural development department to establish a pilot project to manage facilities that produce hygienic vegetables and meat in Ha Noi, in order to improve the situation and protect consumer rights and community health.

Two departments hope that the project will implemented efficiently and expanded in the near future. — VNS

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