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Oct 21, 2022 / 10:47

Hanoi continues strengthening food safety control

Enhancing post-inspection sanctions for agricultural products and foodstuffs has been identified by Hanoi authorities as an important measure to deal with food safety violations.

Hanoi will continue to strengthen food safety inspection and supervision in the last months of 2022, in addition to post-inspection sanctions.

 Checking food safety in a Hanoi food establishment. Photo: Tran Thao/ The Hanoi Times

Director of the Hanoi Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Chu Phu My stressed that the agriculture sector's priority is to ensure food security. "The issue remains of particular concern in the context of increased demand for agricultural and food products, especially during the vacations and Lunar New Year," he told The Hanoi Times.

He proposed the departments, the People’s Committees of districts, communes, and wards continue to maintain close coordination in inspection and examination to avoid overlapping functions, as well as to strictly deal with food safety violations.

Since the beginning of 2022, the Hanoi Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has appraised and rated 249 establishments, including 222 graded B (passed), 17 graded C (failed), and 27 upgraded from C to B. The remaining 17 are not eligible for evaluation.

At the same time, functional forces have tested 844 samples, approving 803 (representing 95% of the total) and detecting 41 food safety violations (representing 5%).

Head of Hanoi's Agroforestry and Fisheries Quality Management Sub-Department Nguyen Thi Thu Hang said, "Sampling and control focus on product groups and production stages prone to high food safety risks."

 The agency asked production and business establishments having the failed samples to trace the origin and determine the causes to overcome them quickly, she told The Hanoi Times.

Enhancing post-inspection work

Enhancing post-inspection sanctions for agricultural products and foodstuffs has been identified by Hanoi authorities as an important measure to tackle food safety violations.

In the past nine months, the Hanoi Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has received 1,819 self-declaration dossiers for processed agricultural products.  Among the 21 samples inspected, the functional units detected three samples exceeding the maximum level of food additive use and fined one case VND40 million ($1,637).

Over the past time, the agency has asked localities to strengthen inspecting and sampling food at eateries, as well as strictly handle cases of trading in goods of unknown origin, violating compliance in food safety.

A representative from the Hanoi Sub-department of Food Hygiene and Safety suggested the city’s agriculture and rural development sector should examine each stage of farm production. Meanwhile, the market management sector controls the products from the farm to the circulation stage, and the health sector manages food safety issues.

District authorities are requested to send inspection teams to local food establishments and collective kitchens, and to strictly fine violations, he stressed. 

Statistics from the functional units show that, in 2021, inspection teams visited 48,000 eateries, detected violations at 7,000 facilities, and fined them more than VND4 billion.