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Ha Noi health inspectors target vendors, canteens

Update: April, 02/2014 - 08:12

A street vendor sells bread near a school in Ha Noi. Street vendors near schools will be inspected more frequently as part of a new food safety drive. — VNS Photo Doan Tung

HA NOI (VNS) — Street vendors near schools and school canteens will see more food safety and hygiene inspections following an order by the Ha Noi Health Department.

The move follows a decision by the department on Monday to suspend Nhat Anh One Member Co. Ltd from operation after a dead mouse was found in a snack bag manufactured by the Ha Noi-based company. Inspectors discovered that the company lacked a certificate of food safety and hygiene and its address was not the one registered with the city's Department of Planning and Investment.

The inspectors seized all snack bags found at the company headquarters and took samples for testing.

Out of 169,000 producers nationwide, 34,000 were found violating food safety and hygiene regulations in the first two months of this year alone, according to the Viet Nam Food Administration under the Ministry of Health.

Head of the administration Tran Quang Trung said that the main violations were substandard facilities and equipment and using food additives beyond permitted levels.

The administration reported 163 food poisoning cases in 2013, which killed 28. Trung said the department aimed to decrease total food poisoning cases by 5 per cent this year.

According to Trung, the country's health sector planned to improve the capacity of food-safety managers and the quality of the testing system, in addition to disseminating food safety and hygiene information via mass media.

22 hospitalised for food poisoning in Lao Cai

As many as 22 workers were taken to Ban Vuoc Commune's Health Centre and Bat Xat District's General Hospital for food poisoning after having lunch at a canteen in northern mountainous Lao Cai Province yesterday.

An initial inspection revealed that the food came from a local market, cooking facilities were substandard and the location of the canteen was near a toilet. Samples are being tested for further information. — VNS

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