Police and market watch staff examine a collective kitchen in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Chairman of the Hanoi municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung has ordered the establishment of five inter-sector inspection teams on food safety and hygiene.

The teams will conduct unscheduled inspections on workshops which process, manufacture, import and sell food, food for special health use, ingredients, and additives, as well as food packages. Each team is in charge of six districts.

The inspections will continue until the end of this year.

The city’s Department of Industry and Trade, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Health Department have been assigned to manage the inspections. 
The hotline numbers of these departments are 043.7757.277 (Health Department), 190.0585.826 (Department of Industry and Trade) and 043.3800.115 (Department of Agriculture and Rural Development).

The municipal People’s Committee chairman asked inspectors to immediately suspend violators and report them to relevant authorised agencies to determine penalties.

In case of criminal offences, reports must be sent to the police for further investigation.

According to new criminal code, which will come into effect shortly on July 1, the use of banned substances in animal husbandry will face harsher punishment of up to 200 million VND (8,900 USD) or a jail term from one to 20 years.

Leading officials of the concerned departments and the municipal People’s Committee will be regularly apprised of the inspection results.

Ensuring food safety and hygiene is one of the primary targets of the capital city authority following the outflow of contaminated food discovered in the city and across the country recently.

As of May 31 this year, the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development presented food safety certificates to 264 business bases of agriculture, forestry and aquaculture products.

In May, as part of the city’s efforts to provide safe food to residents, the safe farm produce market at No. 489 Hoang Quoc Viet road was launched. The market is open from Friday to Sunday in the second and the last weeks of each month. 

Hanoi has 59,109 establishments operating in producing, processing and trading food, and a great number of slaughter houses, markets, super markets and commercial centres, according to Vice Director of the municipal Health Department Hoang Duc Hanh. 

In the first five months of this year, the city arranged 766 teams to inspect the trading and production of food, finding 7,872 out of the 48,899 inspected units to be violating food safety regulations.-VNA