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Deputy PM orders stricter management of food safety

Update: June, 23/2014 - 07:31
Market watch authorities inspect fruit at Vo Thi Sau Fivimart in Ha Noi. The Government has called for co-ordination and tighter management to crackdown on food safety violations. —VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet

HA NOI (VNS) — Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has called for tighter management of drinking water in residential areas, an area that has not been touched on regularly in food safety management.

Chairing an inter-ministerial meeting to review food administration in the first six months of this year, Dam said that relevant agencies were coordinating quite well in inspecting and cracking down on food safety violations.

According to the National Inter-sector Steering Committee on Food Safety, at least 24 deaths from food poisoning were recorded nationwide in the first six months.

In the first four months of this year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had inspected more than 1.4 million tonnes of imported foodstuff of plant origin, 35,700 tonnes of imported foodstuff of animal origin and 85,000 aqua-products.

At the meeting, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said that many localities were still not focusing on implementing pilot models on food safety management and street food. They were also lax on punishing food safety violators and raising awareness on the issue at the community level.

Dam asked the Health Ministry to draft supplementary regulations on regular sampling of drinking water in residential areas for lab tests and public announcement of results. He requested the media to promote communications on food safety to raise public awareness on the issue.

So far, food safety management had yielded notable results as the public is being more proactive in protecting themselves from toxic food, Dam said.

"More must be done to ensure that food safety is always on top of the agenda and well-coordinated among health, agriculture and trade ministries," he said.

With Ha Noi considering setting up of a mobile car for random food safety checks, Dam said that other localities could well learn this model, in addition to studying ways for quick food checks at markets and supermarkets. — VNS

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