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Cities, consumers choose safe food outlets as Tet approaches

Update: January, 20/2016 - 09:02
Authorities inspect food safety at a supermarket in HCM CIty. As Tet (Lunar New Year) and the season of family meals approaches, meat and vegetables with clear origin belonging to safe food chains have been wise choices of many consumers in big cities. — Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — As Tet (Lunar New Year) and the season of family meals approaches, meat and vegetables with clear origin belonging to safe food chains have been wise choices of many consumers in big cities.

HCM City has put food safety on the agenda by launching a safe food chain project.

Safe food chains feature strict adherence with food safety and hygiene regulations from the farm to the dining table.

Nearly 300 outlets selling meat, chicken eggs, vegetables and fruits meeting Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (Viet GAP) standards have been erected at supermarkets and food stores around the city. The move is aimed to eliminate the provision of contaminated food, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.

Viet GAP standards are based on four criteria: disease control, environmental protection, social welfare, and traceability, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Head of the city's Veterinary Department Phan Xuan Thao affirmed that poultry and cattle in the safety food chains must not be fed with banned agricultural substances and must be slaughtered at facilities with hygiene certificates. These certificate are valid for one year.

Sai Gon Aquatic Product Trading JSC is one enterprise part of safe food chains in HCM City. The company is expected to provide large volume of aquaculture products to Southern markets during the holiday. The companies fish products are distributed in domestic markets and exported to the European Union (EU) or South Korea.

Ta Thi Le Thu, deputy head of technique and quality management department at the company said fish farming must follow strict regulations, especially in regards to the amount of antibiotics in aquaculture.

Fish breeding selection must also be quarantined by veterinarians.

Twice every month, technicians check fish quality to ensure the level of antibiotics does not exceed the allowed level. The fish are only eligible for processing and distribution after being tested, she said.

This year, in the run up to the biggest festival of the year, the number of consumers choosing clean and safe food has surged compared to last year, Nguyen Tien Hung, director of Big Green Company, a "green" food provider told Tri Thuc Tre (Young Intellectual) online newspaper.

To meet consumer demand during Tet, his company has prepared more than 1,000 green-skin grapefruits, 1,000 Dien grapefruits and tonnes of Hoa Loc mangoes, in addition to traditional products such as chicken, fish and fruits, he said.

Pigs raised with biotech

To assure supply of safe food for residents in Ha Noi, the city has worked with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and agricultural departments of 20 other provinces and cities across the country.

The plan focuses food supplied from suburban areas to diversify supply sources.

Organically raised pigs are one example of diversified supply.

Ngo Xuan Cuong, a farmer from Cam Dinh Commune of Ha Noi's Phuc Tho District, breeds as many as 1,500 pigs. His pigs only eat bananas, corn and other vegetables which are cultivated in an area of more than 100 hectares around his farm.

He said the rearing process for the pigs had been recorded since the pigs were small until they were sold.

Upon inspections, Tran Thanh Mau, head of the district's veterinary station confirmed that the pig cages and slaughter area in Cuong's farm were separated from other areas.

Mau said that the farm had been certified for hygienic breeding, slaughtering and processing.

Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality of Viet Nam also granted a code to these biotech pork products to distinguish them from other products in the market.

Cuong said that 500 pigs which weigh 40kg each were ready to be sold to the city market for Tet festival.

In a recent meeting with Ha Noi authorities, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam highlighted the necessity of co-operation among local authorities, enterprises and farmers to develop safe food chains, especially during the action month for food safety and hygiene which lasts until February. — VNS

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