Aug 04, 2014 / 17:46

Food safety inspection teams faces difficulties

Only 10% of each load is randomly selected for testing. Because testing takes ten days, the goods are allowed into the country for distribution before the results come back.

Recently, this problem was brought into the public eye when it was reported that a 280 tonne batch of fruits imported from China in 2013 failed safety inspection. The fact that, at the time this was first reported, the large batch of fruits had already hit the Vietnamese markets and was being sold, compounded public worries over import inspection policies.
Nguyen Xuan Hong, director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Plant Protection Department, said that the inspection of that batch of fruits was, in fact, in accordance with Vietnamese regulation. He said that fruits and vegetables entering Vietnam for sales are subject to inspection, but that only 10% of each load is randomly selected for testing. Because testing takes ten days, the goods are allowed into the country for distribution before the results come back.
During the period when authorities are waiting for the results, distribution of the produce is monitored but not controlled. If the results show any violation in food safety regulations, the next loads from that importer would have their goods subject to 30% testing. The importer would also have to wait for a maximum of ten days, pending the test results, and pay for storage of the goods during that time.