|Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the city People’s Committee, designates Phạm Khánh Phong Lan, deputy head of the Department of Health, to become head of HCM City Food Safety Management Board. — VNA/VNS Photo Phương Vy
HCM CITY — HCM City Food Safety Management Board was officially launched on Sarturday to ensure health and quality of living for people in the city.
The city is the first locality in the country to set up the board.
Phạm Khánh Phong Lan, the board’s head, said that the board this year will focus on strengthening inspections, tests, and technical barriers to prevent unsafe food from being consumed in the city.
Its staff will carry out these inspections at all three wholesale markets in the city because food safety has not been ensured at these sites and markets are still the main traditional shopping source of the city’s residents, Lan said.
A system of labs for rapid tests to screen food at these wholesale markets will also be established and operated soon, she added.
The district-level food inspectors will be in charge of inspection and supervision at the remaining markets, especially illegal markets which open in the afternoon in the city, she said.
The inspectors will also inspect street food, she added.
Moreover, inspections at canteens for workers will be strengthened because food poisoning still occurs at these places, Lan said.
The board will continue developing chains of safe food with clear origins and cultivation with Vietnamese and global good agricultural practices, Lan said.
Other models of trading safe food will be carried out, she said.
Furthermore, the board will be in charge of administrative reform to reduce red tape for enterprises, she added.
The board will make efforts to get more efficiences and professionalism in the implementation of tasks which are assigned by the city People’s Committee to help its residents reduce worries when using food, she said.
In the past, departments of health, agriculture and rural development, and industry and trade were in charge of food safety management, she said.
Overlapping management of the three departments has led to ineffectiveness in ensuring food safety, Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, said at the opening ceremony of the HCM City Food Safety Management Board.
In recent years, many kinds of food, which have been produced in the country and other countries, have been sold in the city’s market, Phong said.
However, many of them have substandard quality and have not been controlled well, he said, adding that they cause worries for the city’s 10 million residents.
This situation inspired the city’s authorities to set up the board, Phong said. — VNS