|The food market to serve the Tết (Lunar New Year) festival is bustling with various kinds of products to meet increasing public demand but also poses high risks of unsafe food or violations in food safety and hygiene.— Photo laodong.vn|
HÀ NỘI — The food market to serve the Tết (Lunar New Year) festival is bustling with various kinds of products to meet increasing public demand but also poses high risks of unsafe food or violations in food safety and hygiene.
To better protect consumers’ health, authorities in Hà Nội have taken measures to tighten control over food safety and hygiene to prevent food poisoning before and during the Tết festivities.
The city has established many inspection teams to inspect food safety and hygiene and product prices to protect consumers’ health. The inspections will focus on facilities producing, processing and trading products that are mainly used during the Tết holiday and festivals, such as meat and meat products, beverages, alcoholic drinks and confectionary.
They will strictly inspect large food processing plants, wholesale markets, supermarkets and shopping malls, besides small street vendors to prevent food poisoning.
Management boards of markets in the city are instructed to regularly inspect and remind businesses to strictly follow food safety and environmental protection regulations and to strictly punish violators.
The municipal Department of Health has set up four mobile teams on food poisoning prevention and control.
Head of the city’s Food Safety and Hygiene Division Trần Ngọc Tụ said attention would be paid to food supply from other localities to Hà Nội. A recent food poisoning case at a school in Đông Anh District showed that it was difficult to deal with the problem when the school’s food was supplied by a business outside Hà Nội.
At a recent inspection in Hoài Đức District, inspectors discovered and fined 44 out of 125 inspected establishments for food safety violations and destroyed many products that failed to meet food safety standards such as confectionary, alcohol and dried beef.
The city’s Market Watch Division asked relevant agencies to inspect facilities and businesses producing and trading alcohol products to prevent food poisoning which has become an urgent problem over Tết in recent years.
The health ministry last month decided to set up six inter-sectoral teams to inspect food safety in 12 provinces and cities ahead of, during and after Tết. Inspections will be carried out from January 1 to March 25, 2019.
During January-October last year, 91 food poisoning cases were reported nationwide, mainly involving alcohol and poisonous mushrooms, claiming the lives of 15 people.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has warned of potential epidemics during Tết and spring festivals afterwards at a conference held last week.
Head of the ministry’s Preventive Medicine Department Trần Đắc Phu told Sức khoẻ&Đời sống (Health&Life) newspaper that the weather conditions would be changeable around Tết, reducing people’s resistance and creating conditions for virus development, which means increasing the risks of infectious diseases such as influenza, respiratory-related diseases, measles, pneumonia and diarrhoea. — VNS