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Nov 18, 2022 / 17:19

Hanoi tightens control over food safety at wet markets

Rapid food testing points will enable consumers to choose safe food amid loose management at wet markets.

Hanoi is directing management units to set up rapid food testing points in some wet markets that will partly help local consumers choose safe products.

 Xom market in Phu Lam Ward, Hanoi's Ha Dong District. Photo: Thoi Nguyen/The Hanoi Times

This aims to ensure food safety in the wet markets in the city while enhancing market management capacity in terms of inspection and control of compliance with the regulations on food safety.

Acting director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade Tran Thi Phuong Lan said the low awareness of production and trading establishments on food safety led to the related violations.

In the first ten months of 2022, the department inspected and detected violations at eight market restaurants and fined them VND45 million ($1,806). The functional force also took 473 samples for analysis at the markets, finding 31 violating food safety regulations and sending the offending samples for traceability.

Lan stressed that in recent times, the department has coordinated with sub-municipal agencies and local authorities to deploy programs and solutions to enforce food safety regulations in the market.

So far, the department has completed a survey of the current status of food production and business establishments in wet markets to classify and guide them to meet the requirements for food safety.

The Department has also organized 268 training courses with over 11,000 attendees, 96 conferences, and seminars on food safety. It has also guided more than 500 production establishments and wet market businesses to ensure food safety conditions, and those that meet the requirements will be given an identification plate.

"However, the truth is that we need more comprehensive solutions for food production and market business activities to comply with the food safety law," Lan stressed.

 Hoang Mai District's wet market. Photo: Hoai Nam/The Hanoi Times

At the workshop "Solutions to improve the effectiveness of food safety assurance in Hanoi markets" held on November 15, Le Thi Hang of the Hanoi Department of Health suggested that it is necessary to strengthen communication on food safety under various forms to increase the responsibility of organizations and individuals in producing, trading and consuming safe food.

She added that market management units advise restaurants on building, renovating, and repairing their premises to fully comply with standards. "For which, we will create a basis for establishing food safety criteria in wholesale markets in combination with disease prevention and control," she said.

Echoing Hang, Vice Chairwoman of the Hanoi Women's Union Le Thi Thien Huong suggested that the city and functional sectors should work out a set of specific and clear criteria for a safe market.

To improve the effectiveness of food safety in the wet market in the future, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade Nguyen The Hiep said the unit would continue to work with other city agencies to enforce solutions to food safety in the area.

In addition, the city has approved the project "Management of food production and business establishments in Hanoi wet markets in 2022-2025", aiming for 100% of food service establishments in wet markets to meet requirements and receive certification by the end of December 2025.