Authorities inspect fruits at a supermarket in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Hải
HÀ NỘI — The implementation of regulations related to food advertisement has improved, but managing advertising on social networks like Facebook and YouTube has faced a number of difficulties.
Experts spoke at a conference of the national steering committee on food safety and hygiene held yesterday in Hà Nội. The conference aimed to summarise the work of the first half of this year, and set out the plan for the next six months.
Representatives at the conference also agreed that the abuse of banned substances, chemicals, antibiotics and preservatives in processed foods were becoming more complex.
Food poisoning due to poor quality liquor led to a significant number of fatalities. Meanwhile, poisoning in industrial and processing zones had been reduced, but was still a risk.
During the first six months of the year, the country set up more than 23,400 delegations of inspectors to check more than 443,100 enterprises and discovered more than 81,000 violations.
The inspectors handed out administrative fines of more than VNĐ38 billion (US$1.7 million) to more than 12,900 enterprises. As many as 300 enterprises were forced to temporarily suspend operations and 300 kinds of food were banned from circulation.
More than 4,000 kinds of substandard food were destroyed.
The rate of agricultural, forestry and aquatic product enterprises meeting food safety and hygiene standards increased from 91 per cent in 2016 to 96.7 per cent this year.
The rate of agricultural material trading enterprises reaching standards increased from 89.9 per cent last year to 95.6 per cent this year.
By the end of June, the country saw 73 cases of food poisoning with 1,592 victims. As many as 1,483 of them had to be hospitalised and 16 died.
Deputy Minister of Health Trương Quốc Cường said that since the beginning of this year, the national steering committee on food safety and hygiene issued guidance documents on preventing food poisoning and infectious diseases.
Education on food safety on was improved through a range of media channels, he said.
Concluding the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam asked the Ministry of Health to cooperate with concerned agencies to make adjustments to Decree 178/2013/NĐ-CP, issued in November 14, 2013, regulating administrative fines for violations related to food safety and hygiene.
Circulars and national norms on food safety must be promulgated regularly.
Deputy PM Đam asked the national steering committee on food safety and hygiene to strengthen its inspections all over the country, with a particular focus on the use of chemicals and plant protection substances, and ensuring safety during the slaughter of livestock and poultry, especially in big cities.
Ministries and concerned agencies must have specialty inspectors on food safety in Hà Nội and HCM City, and consider expanding to several main cities and provinces, said the Deputy PM.
Food safety management agencies in different localities should receive more training, and use the media to increase public knowledge on the issue, said Đam. — VNS