Local governments crackdown on food safety

With expectation of ensure food safety and hygiene for residents, the government has switch on the greenlight for inspection over food producers  in two big cities Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City starting from November 15.

Being a big city, HCMC is facing difficulties on controlling food safety and hygiene as there is a severe shortage of personnel. The city's Department of Health asked its sub-departments to provide training to staffs in food safety bureaus in districts and communes.

The Ministry of Health said that food inspectors could be staffs of departments of health, agriculture and rural development and market management. Inspectors can pay unscheduled visits to manufacturers to supervise and issue fine over food safety violators.

Under the government's decision, the pilot inspection of food safety has carried out in 10 districts and 20 communes in Hanoi and HCMC. Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said that the participation of local governments would set up a wider networks to supplement personnels to inspection teams.

Accordingly, chairpersons of the districts ad communes will sign decision of unscheduled visits to food manufacturers and businesses and establish inspection teams. Inspectors should increase information of food safety and hygiene to manufacturers and customers.

Ho Chi Minh City has  around 53, 000 food producers and businesses. In 9 first months of the year, inspection teams in districts and wards collected VND3.935 billion (US$177,652) from fines over foof safety violators during inspection of these food manufacturers and stores.

By Tuong Lam - translated by Anh Quan

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