The Vietnam Food Administration said that it would continue to test all fresh rice vermicelli products in the country following a scandal that rice noodles were contaminated with Tinopal whitening agent.
Fraudulent traders had been using fluorescent whitening agent to make rice noodles, rice vermicelli, and rice spaghetti look more attractive and brighter.
Food watchdogs discovered this and asked related agencies to step up supervision of food processing units.
After testing, food watchdogs found samples of rice noodles in three processing units to have Tinopal and Oxalic acid--both banned food substances.
For instance, four samples of Hoang Thanh food processed at 751/40H/15 Hong Bang Street in District 6 contained Tinopal and excessive amounts of the preservative sodium sunfite.
Samples from Phuong Dung at 71/486 E Phan Huy Ich in Go Vap District also contained Tinopal and so did those from Cat Tuong at 38/73 Street 50 in Go Vap District.
Hoang Thanh and Phuong Dung were fined a total of VND63 million (US$3,000) for violating food safety and hygiene regulations. Inspectors also destroyed all rice noodles at the two units and are considering penalties for Cat Tuong.
Health inspectors in Can Tho City in the Mekong Delta have just issued fine of VND30,000 on a household processing unit in Ninh Kieu District, for violating food safety and hygiene regulations.
The southern province of Tay Ninh and Ba Ria-Vung Tau found Tinopal in rice noodles in three processing units.
Meantime, related agencies in Hanoi, the northern provinces of Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Ha Nam, Yen Bai, Bac Kan, Lao Cai and the central province of Khanh Hoa and HaTinh said there was no trace of Tinopal in rice noodles in these provinces.
Food watchdogs said related agencies in provinces across the country will continue to test rice noodles for Tinopal and update the information on the media for the public.
Most rice noodles in markets contaminated with Tinopal
Health watchdog to step up supervision of food processing units