The Government has approved a decree to raise fines for food safety violations, which would reach VNĐ200 million (US$5,840) or seven times higher than the value of goods. — Photo baodansinh.vn
HÀ NỘI – The Government has approved a decree to raise fines for food safety violations, which would reach VNĐ200 million (US$5,840) or seven times higher than the value of goods.
The new decree amends the one issued in 2013 with fines now 3.5 times higher than under the old decree.
Under the new decree, those found using out-of-date or unclear materials or products from animals and plants without quarantine for food will be given fines double the value of the goods.
Those found using products from animals and plants that fail to meet veterinary hygiene and quarantine inspection requirements will be fined between VNĐ20-40 million ($854-1,709).
Fines of between VNĐ40-50 million ($1,709-2,130) will be levied on those who sell dead or culled animals due to diseases for food if the goods are worth less than VNĐ10 million ($427).
Businesses and individuals found to use banned chemicals or dead or culled animals due to diseases for food if the goods are worth more than VNĐ10 million ($427) will be fined VNĐ80-200 million ($3,410-8,540).
All violations will be subject to fines instead of warnings as at present. Additional penalties such as revoking certificates of food safety and registration of products, confiscation of materials or suspension of business operation are also on the table.
Violating businesses will be forced to destroy their violated food and pay all costs to deal with food poisoning cases they cause.
The decree will take effect on October 20.
Statistics from the Ministry of Health show a decrease in food poisoning cases in the first six months of this year.
The number of food poisoning cases hit 53 nationwide, down 27 compared to the same period last year. Eleven people died and some 1,000 others were hospitalised this year, more than twice as many as 2017.
Reports from inspection teams from 63 cities and provinces showed that in the first six months of the year, the teams discovered more than 68,360 out of 351,130 businesses violating food safety and hygiene regulations. Of the total, 13,017 businesses were fined more than VNĐ 35 billion ($1.54 million).
At the conference on food safety and hygiene in July, Minister of Health Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến said fines for violations on food safety and hygiene remained low.
It was vital for the country’s health authority to enhance post-inspection work on food safety and hygiene to improve food quality, she added. – VNS