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PM Dung calls for better food safety

Update: July, 14/2008 - 00:00

PM Dung calls for better food safety


HA NOI — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has recently asked relevant authorities to increase awareness and prevention efforts regarding mass food poisoning.

The Ministry of Health and provincial and city people’s committees will co-operate with relevant agencies to effectively implement prevention measures.

"The Ministry of Health and local authorities must enhance inspections of food hygiene and safety, especially in commercial kitchens, food processing units, school cafeterias and industrial zones," Dung affirmed.

The ministry must also work with the Ministry of Education and Training to target food hygiene and safety in kindergartens, schools and universities. Every student, teacher and staff member will now have to follow strict regulations.

"Since the beginning of the food hygiene and safety action month, which began on April 15, the Youth Union has launched a movement advocating only cooked food and boiled drinking water in the dorms," said Phan Thuy Duong, a sixth year student at Ha Noi Medical University.

In addition to raising awareness, an action plan for prevention and treatment of food poisoning is needed. Production units must get equipment and staff to meet new standards.

"The hospital cafeteria has recently improved in terms of cleanliness. We even have a board with food hygiene and safety regulations that hangs on the gate to raise awareness," said Phan Thi Hanh, a doctor at the hospital.

All foods and relevant ingredients, processing, cooking, maintenance and transport must undergo evaluation.

The Ministry of Education and Training will implement a food hygiene and safety teaching programme and ask educational units to commit.

In the first six months of 2008, over 4,000 people suffered food poisoning, of whom 42 died. Most cases happened at commercial kitchens in industrial zones and schools.

The most recent serious case took place at Hoang Gia Company in Tay Ninh Province last month with 1,600 infected. — VNS

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