PM presides online food safety conference

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc yesterday presided an online conference on food safety to assess three-year implementation of his direction No.13 of food safety mission.
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the conference (Photo: SGGP)
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the conference (Photo: SGGP)

According to the Ministry of Health’s report, after two years to follow the Prime Minister’s instruction on food safety, competent agencies have filed legal proceeding against 42 people involved in 28 violations of food safety and sales of fake foodstuff and additives.

From 2017, food safety is one of requirements in the government’s plan of new rural district building. Administrations have focused on handling “hot issues” relating to using chemicals and antibiotic in cattle and poultry and aquatic raising. Since then, no discovery of meat samples infected with Salbutamol and the rate of meat containing antibiotic have gone down dramatically.

Before 2016, agricultural products without clear indication of origin in traditional markets and flea markets accounted for 90 percent but from 2016 till now, it has been just 70 percent while safe agricultural products in convenience stores and supermarkets increased from 10 percent to 30 percent.

Also the report said the country had 76 poisoning cases in 2019 infecting nearly 2,000 people hospitalizing 1,918 and killing eight others. The most present challenge is small-scale food businesses which may violate food safety regulations.

Accordingly, competent agencies should disseminate regulations of food safety and encourage small businesses to cooperate into bigger to apply advanced processing procedures.

Competent agencies still faced difficulties in handling small slaughterhouses in residential quarters; plus, many people still use substandard fertilizers without clear indication of origin.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said food safety is one of significant mission to protect people’s health and the country’s economic competitiveness as well as ability to access to international markets.

For long-term plan, all relating competent agencies, unions especially enterprise community must work synchronously upon the matter.

He commented that after the law of food safety took effect, there have been changes in the country. Many businesses and households businesses have complied with the regulations. However, competent agencies ought to still call for responsibilities and ethics in manufacturing food in the enterprise community. Violations will be penalized harshly.