A recent inspection of northern eateries serving dog meat, vegetables and shrimp paste has revealed alarming unhygienic practices and the presence of cholera bacterium in some foods.
Tran Nhu Duong, deputy head of the Hanoi-based National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, told a seminar December 22 that health inspectors had recently investigated some 30 street eateries selling dog meat in Hanoi.
Twenty-five of the eateries were found operating without a food safety and hygiene certificate; 15 prepared food next to a restroom; 19 used unwashed raw vegetables; and 27 served day-old meat.
More worrying, samples of vegetables, dog meat and shrimp paste taken from restaurants and markets in Hanoi and the northern provinces of Hai Phong, Hai Duong, and Thanh Hoa had tested positive for the Vibrio cholera bacterium, said Duong.
The bacteria, spread through contaminated water or food, causes acute intestinal infection which can lead to death if left untreated.
Although cholera in Vietnam has not been as prevalent this year as in the past, 471 cases have been reported in 15 provinces nationwide with one fatality in the northern province of Ninh Binh, said the Department of Preventive Health and Environment.