Officials ​detect unhygienic food in central Thanh Hoa province (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Health encouraged consumers to detect and denounce food safety violations to tackle unhygienic products.

Head of the ministry’s food administration Nguyen Thanh Phong said it is necessary to change the tactics of fighting food safety violations.

Besides agencies which are responsible for food safety, the engagement and cooperation of customers is important, he said.

Many political-social organisations have worked together to prevent the abuse of chemicals in animal husbandry and raise public awareness of toxic chemicals that threaten human health and the environment.

The organisations also coordinated with localities to support farmers to build organic ecological models.

In 2015, the Vietnamese Farmers Association and the Vietnam Fatherland Front coordinated with relevant ministries and sectors to inspect the implementation of law on the management, production, trade and use of agricultural materials such as fertilizer, botanic and seafood farming drugs.

The association also worked with provincial and municipal Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development to provide training and increase communications while supporting farmers to build breeding models that ensure food safety.

Chairman of the Kon Tum’s farmers association Thao Hong Son said the most important issue is to effectively manage the use of plant protection medicines and chemicals in animal husbandry because this is the main cause of unsafe food in the market.

Multiple sectors, including health, agriculture and rural development, industry, public security, and science-technology conducted inspections between 2012 and 2014 at over 470,000 farming facilities, among which more than 99,000 were found to have violated food safety rules.

In the first quarter of 2016, the country set up more than 9,400 inter-sector inspection teams to examine food safety at over 109,000 farming facilities, detecting over 20,500 violation cases, according to the Ministry of Health.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said despite the efforts, the management of food safety faces challenges from the large number of small-scale food production and management establishments. In addition, local governments fail to pay due attention to the work, leaving it mainly in the hands of specialized agencies, which lack personnel and budget, especially at communal level.-VNA