|A store selling homemade alcohol in HCM City. VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY – The HCM City Food Safety and Hygiene Management Board will closely monitor liquor sold by retailers to ensure customers buy products with clear origin.
Authorities are also encouraging consumers to buy products with clear labels of origin.
The Department of Industry and Trade has been instructed to inspect the production and distribution of liquor products, and strengthen regulations for their management, especially of homemade alcohol.
Consumers like to buy food at traditional markets because they are often cheaper, but some products lack clear origins, experts said.
Liquor producers must comply with food safety regulations, work with the board to carry out quality control activities and provide samples for testing. They must contact the board about tracing origin of unsafe products.
Test results, warnings and other information should be publicised on websites to alert consumers, food producers and traders, experts said.
The increase in alcohol toxicity cases in the city has been blamed mainly on cheap wine sold at street restaurants, with most victims being labourers from rural areas and students.
On August 6 a case of methanol poisoning occurred at a Thủ Đức City restaurant, affecting eight young people, of whom two died, both college students.
Alcohol of unknown origin has been identified as the cause. All the victims reported abdominal pain and dizziness and vomited, and have been diagnosed with methanol poisoning.
The police are investigating the case.
It is common for hawkers and street stalls to adulterate liquor with cheap substances.
Alcohol use is of considerable concern in Việt Nam.
According to Visual Capitalist, Việt Nam ranked ninth in the world in terms of beer consumption in 2020.
Data from the General Statistics Office of Việt Nam shows that alcohol consumption in the country rose from 0.9 litres per person per month in 2018 to 1.3 litres in 2020. – VNS