The Prime Minister on March 28 approved an Early Warning Food Safety System for the country, which would be fully in place within three years and operating at three levels, namely, national, central-provincial-municipal, and grassroots.
|Workers treated for food poisoning. Vietnam will have an early warning food safety system (File photo: SGGP)|
Under the system, the national level center will collect and analyze information from central-provincial-municipal warning centers as well as grassroots centers and provide appropriate feedback.
The related central-provincial-municipal centers will be located at the Department of Safety, under the Ministry of Health; the Department of Agro-Aqua-Forestry, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; the Department of Science and Technology, under the Ministry of Industry and Trade; and the Department of Food Safety and Hygiene.
Grassroots centers will be set up at Departments of Food Safety and Hygiene; Administration for Standardization, Meteorology and Quality Control under the Ministry of Science and Technology; General Customs Department under the Finance Ministry; the Vietnam Association for Standardization and Consumer Protection; and Preventive Health Centers.
Based on data received, centers will release early warnings on food safety and related risks whenever needed.
Once the project is fully operational, emergency food safety cases will be brought under control quickly and effectively including Total Diet Studies (TDS), which will be the primary source of information on various chemical contaminants and nutrients in a diet, and potential dangers to customers, and health risks arising from popular food items in Vietnam.
The Ministry of Health will coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and related agencies to set up a managing board as well as a central warning center with other centers.
Domestic and international medical experts will be recruited for the project as well as training courses will be organized for local staff.
Expense for the project will come from the National Target Program on Food Safety, for the period 2013-2015, and from local budget, donations and loans.
By 2016, the Early Warning Food Safety System will be fully operational in the country.