Prevent outbreaks of "dirty" food

VCN - Ho Chi Minh City authorities are implementing strict market control and preventing "dirty" food to protect consumers and limit food poisoning cases.
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Prevent outbreaks of
Imported food of unknown origin was detected by Ho Chi Minh City Market Surveillance

Tons of “5 No” foods

In recent times, Ho Chi Minh City authorities have discovered and arrested many cases of transporting and storing food that does not ensure food hygiene and safety.

Recently, during the holiday of April 30 - May 1, the Inspection Team of Market Surveillance Team No. 3 in coordination with Team 7 - Economic Police Department (Ho Chi Minh City Police) and Binh Chieu Ward Police, Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City inspected a goods business location, address in Binh Chieu Ward, Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City, discovered and temporarily detained 7,800 kg of frozen foods of all kinds that were unused animal organs, with " 5 no": no invoices or documents, unknown origin, no production date, no expiration date, no labeling of goods according to regulations. These organs were divided into small pieces, pressed into blocks, wrapped in nylon bags, and packed into cartons to disguise themselves during transportation.

Previously, in early April 2024, the Ho Chi Minh City Market Surveillance Department in coordination with Team 7 - Economic Police Department (Ho Chi Minh City Police) and Tam Binh Ward Police, Thu Duc City to inspect goods business points in Ho Chi Minh City. Tam Binh Ward, Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City. Through inspection, the Inspection Team discovered that a business location here did not have a Business Registration Certificate as prescribed, and was storing goods including more than 2 tons of frozen foods of all kinds, including animal organs, with no invoices and documents of unknown origin. The goods were packed in packaging with foreign letters, suspected of being smuggled. The value of infringing goods is about over 2 billion VND.

According to the Ho Chi Minh City Market Surveillance Department, during the holidays, the demand for food consumption among city residents increases. Taking advantage of that situation, some people, for profit and personal gain, deliberately put on the market foods of unknown origin, poor quality, affecting health, and even the detriment of the user's health. Ho Chi Minh City Market Surveillance Department always strengthens market inspection and supervision, ensuring timely prevention of smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods in the field of food safety.

Previously, implementing Plan No. 364/KH-BCĐTUATTP dated March 27, 2024 of the Central Interdisciplinary Steering Committee on Food Safety, Ho Chi Minh City Market Surveillance Department directed Market Surveillance teams to proactively coordinate with local authorities to implement the Plan to implement "Action Month for Food Safety" in 2024 and organize supervision, inspection, and handling of food production and business establishments in the area. In particular, focus on key areas, goods transit points, warehouses, e-commerce transactions for sale and food advertising to promptly detect and check compliance with regulations on food production and trading, on conditions to ensure food safety, the implementation of regulations on product announcement, quality standards, labeling of goods, food advertising, origin , origin of raw materials used to produce food; the use of additives and colors in food processing and related regulations, etc.

Tightly control the market

In recent times, there have been many food poisoning cases with a large number of poisoned people requiring emergency treatment, placing even more responsibility on strict surveillance and control of the market, ensuring food hygiene and safety.

Although food safety surveillance and food poisoning prevention have been paid attention and directed by ministries, branches and localities and have achieved many results, however, the number of poisoning cases and the number of people suffering from food poisoning are still a lot left. In 2023 alone, the whole country has recorded 125 cases infecting over 2,100 people and causing 28 deaths, with an increasing trend compared to 2022. Recently, a number of poisoning cases have been recorded nationwide, especially the poisoning incident occurred in Long Khanh city, Dong Nai province on April 30 with over 450 infected people hospitalized for treatment, continuing to cause concern among the people; Or on May 2, 15 elementary school students were treated at Le Van Thinh Hospital (Thu Duc City), suspected of food poisoning, etc.

Facing with the above situation, on May 3, 2024, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang signed Official Telegram No. 44 requesting ministries, branches and localities to implement measures to prevent and handle food poisoning. The Prime Minister requested the Ministry of Health to direct and promote information and propaganda about the risk of food poisoning and the prevention of food poisoning, especially at tourist sites, resorts, and school cafeterias, industrial parks, street food, etc. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade fully carry out coordination responsibilities in tracing the origin and handling food poisoning in the assigned fields.

Localities are assigned responsibility for food safety surveillance in their localities; Take appropriate measures to improve capacity, efficiency, and effectiveness in managing conditions to ensure food safety for small-scale food production and business establishments, street food. Strengthen inspection, examination, and strictly handle organizations and individuals violating the law on food safety in the surveillance area.

In Ho Chi Minh City, in early March 2024, six retail systems including Saigon Co.op, Central Retail Vietnam, MM Mega Market, Bach Hoa Xanh, Aeon and Satra signed a cooperation agreement on product quality control. The goal of the agreement is to improve food quality in the retail system and prevent dirty food. Although many experts and consumers appreciate the clean food distribution model, in Ho Chi Minh City there are currently tens of thousands of supermarkets and convenience stores distributing food. So the number of businesses joined in the commitment to distribute clean products as above is too small, and the cooperation of other businesses is needed to bring safe food to consumers.

By Le Thu/Phuong Linh

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