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Hà Nội rapid alert system to tackle food safety violations

Update: September, 28/2018 - 14:00
Health workers take food samples at a restaurant in Hà Nội’s Hai Bà Trưng District for testing. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Ngọc
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The People’s Committee of Hà Nội has approved a plan to deploy a rapid alert system on food safety for the 2018-20 period.

The system will involve the participation of several sectors including the departments of health, industry and trade, agriculture and rural development and authorities at district and commune levels.

A focal point at the Food Safety and Hygiene Office under the Department of Health will receive and handle food safety reports from three alert points.

The first alert point will be at the departments of health, industry and trade, agriculture and rural development while the second alert point will be set up at district health care centres.

The first and second alert points will receive information on food safety incidents. They will be authorised to conduct investigations when needed.

The third alert point will be at health stations at a commune level, and will be assigned with providing information on food safety incidents and submitting reports to the second alert point.

Information on food security can be reported via messaging, email or phone calls. It will be sent to the rapid alert system within two hours and will be settled within 24 hours.

To make the system operate effectively, a dissemination campaign will educate local residents. In the meantime, joint task force units will be set up to deal with food security incidents and issue warnings to the community.

According to Deputy Director of Hà Nội’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Tạ Văn Tường, unannounced hygiene inspections will be conducted more regularly. Inspections will also focus on the trade of agricultural equipment and cattle and poultry slaughtering.

Inspection teams will take samples for rapid testing to uncover, report and punish manufacturers who violate food safety regulations, he said.

The teams will co-ordinate with relevant agencies to detect and eliminate the smuggling of veterinary drugs, fertilisers and banned plant protection products.

Hà Nội authorities have targeted a 10 per cent reduction of pesticide residue on produce and chemical and antibiotic additives in meat and seafood by the end of the year. — VNS

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