Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – The Prime Minister has asked for intensifying the management of liquor products and stringently handling violations of food safety relating to the products following a series of alcohol poisoning cases in the country.

In the PM’s related telegraph, the municipal and provincial people’s committees are requested to enforce regulations on food safety in general and alcohol product safety in particular and take solutions to seriously treating infringements of the law on food safety regarding liquor products.

The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Trade and Industry are asked to promptly deploy measures to inspect the production, business and consumption of liquor products nationwide, and perfect regulations on management of liquor products, especially homemade alcohol.

Individuals and organisations are prohibited from displaying and trading liquor products without trademark, stamp and with unclear origin.

Over recent time, many alcohol poisoning cases occurred nationwide, with the serious one in Phong Tho district, the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau having 69 people poisoned and nine died.

On May 9, Hanoi’s market management force seized 1,000 litres of homemade alcohol from a local shop. The alcohol was mostly rice wine infused with animals or wild fruit and herbs.

The shop owner said he purchased the booze from wine-making households in northern Hung Yen province and then transported it to Hanoi to sell for 30,000 VND per litre. The owner didn’t produce any trading license or origin certification paper for the alcohol.

The increase of alcohol poisoning cases in the city has been blamed mainly on drinking cheap wine without origin at street restaurants. Most of the poisoning victims are labourers from rural areas who work in Hanoi.

Hanoi-based Bach Mai Hospital’s Poison Control Centre receives hundreds of alcohol poisoning cases each year.

On March 6, 7 and 8, the centre’s doctors treated four serious cases of homemade alcohol poisoning. All patients were treated immediately by hemodialysis, doctors said, however, two patients were in critical condition situation.   

From February 22 to March 8, 14 total cases of methanol poisoning from homemade alcohol were treated at the centre, with one patient died.

The city’s health department is considering banning eateries from selling alcohol of unclear origin. It is also conducting an awareness drive for business owners on the possible consequences of consuming alcohol of unclear origin.-VNA