The Department of Food Safety and Hygiene in Ho Chi Minh City has made it compulsory for importers and businesses of Taiwanese (Chinese) products to subject all goods for supervision and testing by relevant health authorities before June 20.
The department ordered all enterprises on June 14 to test for chemical content in Taiwan-made foodstuffs and disclose findings to health agencies, in view of the recent public scare on DEHP in several food items in the market.
Importers and companies will face heavy penalties after June 20, should health authorities discover any contaminated products in the market.
Moreover, food businesses and importers must inform health agencies about any toxic products within 24 hours. Companies were asked to recall their products from the markets and report the status of removal of the products to health inspectors as well as ways to destroy the contaminated products.
The Ministry of Health will soon set permissible limits allowed in food items of the carcinogenic chemical. WHO has set safe limits for DEHP content at 8 ppt (parts per trillion), while in the USA it is 6 ppt. Vietnam has not yet conducted any study on DEHP, hence the ministry plans to adopt World Health Organization standards, as stated by Nguyen Cong Khan, head of the Food Safety and Hygiene Department on June 13.