The People’s Court in Thu Duc District in Ho Chi Minh City opened the trial to prosecute owner of a food processing facility Bui Van Sang, 36. The man had ordered his employees to soak vegetables in harmful chemicals to keep them fresh.
Sang is the first offender of food safety regulations who has been criminally prosecuted and brought to trial in the city.
According to the indictment, Sang ran an unlicensed agro-processing facility in Tam Binh Ward, Thu Duc District. He hired three employees to “clean” a large volume of vegetables by soaking them in sodium sulfate and sodium dithionite from November 2017 to supply customers in wholesale market Tam Binh.
Everyday, employees soaked 7 -8 tons of vegetables in chemicals to earn VND3.5 million – VND4 million (US$151-172).
Environmental police on April 13 unearthed the violation while paying unscheduled visit to Sang’s facility. Police officers seized 1.6 tons of turnip and 1.5 tons of carrots worth VND11.8 million and 250 grams of Sodium dithionete and Sodium Sulfate powder which are banned from use in food processing in Vietnam in accordance with a Ministry of Health circular.
The case was then transferred to the police unit in Thu Duc District.
Before, Sang had received an administrative fine of VND5 million (US$215) for running his facility without a permit and VND178 million ($7,680) for discharging untreated wastewater into the environment.
He was eventually sentenced to one year and six months in prison for “violating regulations on food safety.”