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City to strengthen food safety for Tet

Update: January, 12/2016 - 10:00
A confectionary shop at a market in HCM City. Residents in HCM City expressed concerns over unsafe food and counterfeit goods, despite managers' assertions that the goods were controlled effectively. — Photo baotintuc.vn

HCM CITY (VNS) — Residents in HCM City expressed concerns over unsafe food and counterfeit goods, despite managers' assertions that the goods were controlled effectively.

During the programme "Hearing and discussing" (Lang nghe va trao doi) held by the HCM City People's Council and HCM City Television (HTV) on Sunday, resident Le Thi Cam Nhung, of Binh Chanh District, said that in many makeshift markets in the city's rural areas, food safety and hygiene are unregulated, which is worrisome to customers.

Goods needed for the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday such as spring rolls, Chinese sausage and fruits do not have clear origins marked.

"Residents hope that appropriate organisations will manage the goods well to ensure customers' health," said Nhung.

Deputy Head of the Economy Budget Department under the municipal People's Council Nguyen Van Lam said the department received reports from residents about counterfeit goods and low-quality food, especially vegetables contaminated with pesticides.

Some farmers used wastewater on their spinach crops. Pork was also pumped with water and banned substances to increase the weight, he said.

But some experts said food safety has improved recently.

Thai Thanh Tam, deputy director of the HCM City Plant Protection Sub-Department, said that goods made in the city or taken into the city via big markets are regulated well.

Phan Xuan Thao, director of the city Department of Animal Health, said that residents are still worried because they only heard one-sided reports regarding low-quality meat.

Thao said the city checked the origins and quality of more than 90 million poultry products in the city last year.

Nearly five million pigs and millions of cows and buffaloes were also inspected thoroughly, Thao said.

Deputy chairwoman of the HCM City People's Council Truong Thi Anh suggested that organisations and authorities at different levels should improve education to help residents identify substandard food.

The network to supply safe goods should be expanded, she said. — VNS

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