Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — HCM City lawmakers have demanded better management of food safety amid complaints that many eateries patronised by students, workers and others do not meet hygiene standards.
When many of them raised the issue at a session of the city People’s Council yesterday, the director of the Department of Health, Nguyễn Tấn Bỉnh, admitted food safety was a concern.
After inspecting kitchens in the city, officials from his department found more than 2,000 meeting safety standards, he said, without elaborating on how many they checked.
Of street eateries, a mere 53 percent meet food safety standards, he said.
His department has 712 teams to inspect 78,000 vehicles that transport livestock and poultry, and so far this year they have found 8,000 hygiene-related violations, he said.
The chairwoman of the house, Nguyễn Thị Quyết Tâm, told him that students complained to her that city leaders do not know how students eat.
She instructed him to investigate and find out who was responsible for maggots being present in food served in a dorm canteen at the Việt Nam National University – HCM City in June.
The cafeteria was shut down right away.
Bỉnh replied that after the incident his department has been working with the Department of Education and Training to establish quality standards for canteens at university dorms and schools.
Tâm said his department should ensure all food in the city is safe rather than just look to prevent food poisoning.
Nguyễn Ngọc Hòa, deputy director of the Department of Industry and Trade, said in November and December this year the city would begin to use information technology to track the origin of pork sold in the city.
The project will be carried out at all wholesale markets and five other major markets -- Bến Thành, Hòa Bình, Thái Bình, An Đông, and Bàu Cát -- as well as supermarkets like Sài Gòn Coop, Satra, and Vissan.
The project would cover the entire city by next year, he added. — VNS