HA NOI (VNS) — Food safety and hygiene inspections should be tightened to prevent food poisoning during the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival which will fall in the middle of next month.
This was stated by chairwoman of the Ha Noi People's Committee Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc at a conference on food safety in Ha Noi on Wednesday.
Ngoc said that inspectors should conduct spot checks in markets and food stores.
Mobile inspection teams should be set up to improve the management of food safety and hygiene, she said.
Director of the Ha Noi Department of Health Nguyen Khac Hien said that inspectors should focus on food manufacturing and processing enterprises to establish where the food came from.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam asked the Ha Noi People's Committee to provide equipment so that tests could be conducted on-the-spot in markets and supermarkets.
However, deputy director of the municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ngo Dai Ngoc, expressed concerns about food safety because the city still has illegal slaughter houses.
Authorities did not know where to buy the proper equipment, or how to use it, said Ngoc.
Moreover, if the food tested was found to be substandard, there were no regulations on whether the manufacturer or supplier should be held responsible, he added.
Chairwoman Ngoc said the Ha Noi Department of Agriculture and Rural Development should invest in testing equipment to install in markets and supermarkets, and a mobile unit for markets on the outskirts of the city. — VNS