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HN to tighten festival food inspections

Update: February, 09/2017 - 09:00
Tourists walk along a street selling food near Hà Nội’s Hương Pagoda. The city health sector plans to deploy mobile food testing labs to deter unsafe food sold at restaurants and street vendors where spring festivals take place.— VNA/VNS Photo Minh Đức
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Hà Nội’s Department of Health will deploy mobile food testing labs to deter unsafe food sold at restaurants and street vendors where spring festivals take place, Nguyễn Khắc Hiền, director of the department has said.

Interdisciplinary inspection teams, in co-operation with local authorities, would take samples of food at food businesses operating at festivals for tests this month, according to Hiền.

Those who were found to violate food safety and hygiene regulations would face fines and be forced to stop business. Perfume Pagoda Festival in Mỹ Đức District, where welcomed tens thousands of tourists each day during the festival time, would be the first to be inspected this month, the official added.  

The mobile testing labs, which could test a raw food sample for different kinds of chemicals or bacteria within 30 minutes or two hours at the longest, would help deterring violated businesses at the soonest time, he said on Tuesday.

The labs would ease difficulties of inspection work, he added. As usual, there were many food vendors at festivals while the time of testing food at local labs took much time. When the authorised agencies received food test results, a large amount of food had been sold.  

Previously, the department required all food businesses to sign commitment to follow the regulations on food hygiene and safety.

Last weekend, an interdisciplinary inspection team from the department conducted an inspection on 23 food businesses at Đền Và Festival in Sơn Tây Township. All 10 samples of noodles and five samples of chili sauce met the food hygiene and safety’s requirements. However, only 22 out of 55 bowls were found to meet the hygiene.

The team gave warnings to these businesses. The festival welcomed nearly 1,000 tourists each day.

Another inspection team also inspected two businesses at Đền Sóc Festival in Sóc Sơn District and two other businesses in Tây Hồ Temple in Tây Hồ District. Results showed that the preservation work of raw materials did not meet safety criteria.

Last month, the Ministry of Health’s Food Hygiene and Safety Department has set up six teams and more than 5,100 groups to inspect food businesses in 42 cities and provinces. More than 2,300 businesses were found to violated the regulations, receiving the fines of nearly VNĐ8.2 billion (US$361,940) in total.

As many as 22 businesses were forced to stop its operation and 414 kinds of food were seized and culled. — VNS


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