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Administrative changes simplify food safety and hygiene supervision

Update: May, 21/2014 - 09:01

Nguyen Thanh Phong, deputy head of the Ministry of Health's Viet Nam Food Administration, talked to Hai Quan (Customs) online newspaper about the new ministerial circular on food safety and hygiene control.

What benefits do food producers get from the circular?

The circular, issued early last month by the ministries of Health, Industry and Trade and Agriculture and Rural Development, aims to end overlaps in food safety and hygiene management.

The document puts each producer and product under the control of one ministry, instead of all three ministries as in the past. This prompts food producers to obey food safety and hygiene regulations strictly.

How will food safety and hygiene inspections be conducted under the new circular?

In the past, we have seen situations where one food producer receives two or three inspections from authorised agencies of both central and local levels. The new circular eliminates this overlap.

Will the new circular reduce complicated administrative procedures for food producers to get certificates of knowledge of food safety and hygiene regulations?

Under old regulations, employees at production companies were forced to participate in a food safety and hygiene training course, then granted certificates signifying that they had full skills and knowledge of food safety and hygiene regulations. However, the new circular only requires employees to pass a test on the same material.

This means that food producers do not pay the costs for such training courses. Rather, they can organise their own classes for staff depending on their budget, then send their staff to take the test.

The new circular also extends the validity of the certificate from one to three years. — VNS

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