The Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee on April 14 launched the Month of Action for Food Safety and Hygiene 2011 throughout the city.

Hua Ngoc Thuan, Deputy Chairman of the municipal People's Committee, called on food manufacturers, processing enterprises and traders to obey safety and hygiene regulations by using raw materials and additives that have a certified origin and quality.

Consumers should purchase food with proper packaging and labels, including place of origin at reputable shops, Thuan said.

Inspection of food safety and hygiene will also be stepped up, with strict enforcement of regulations and fines, he said.

More than 70 percent of food manufacturers and traders in the city are certified as meeting food safety and hygiene standards.

The number of food-poisoning incidents among workers in industrial parks and export processing zones has declined to 13 cases of food poisoning, which hospitalised 734 workers last year, from 22 cases with 1,002 workers involved in 2009.

The city has managed to prevent outbreaks of food-borne diseases, particularly cholera, by improving inspections of food safety and hygiene.

However, the origin of raw materials for food manufacturing and processing has not been controlled well because of the poor management capacity of agencies and departments.

The new Food Safety Law, which becomes effective at the beginning of July, will improve efficiency of management on food safety and hygiene.

In response to the law, traders at Binh Tay Market in District 6 pledged to comply with food safety and hygiene regulations, according to Tran Thi Men, deputy head of the market's Management Board.

All 744 food traders in Binh Tay Market have been granted safety and hygiene certificates. /.