The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will assist Vietnam in implementing its national strategy on food hygiene, said Senior Food Safety and Nutrition Officer of FAO Regional Office for the Asia and Pacific, Shashi Sareen.

At a seminar held in Hanoi on July 30 to review the project “Capacity Building for the Food Inspection System in Vietnam”, Sareen said FAO has provided technical assistance through the project to Vietnam’s ministerial level agencies to improve food hygiene inspection.

At present, FAO is helping Vietnam and other ASEAN nations devise national standards on food hygiene and safety in compliance with international standards, she said.

Deputy Minister of Public Health Nguyen Thanh Long said the project is a rare one in food investigation.

The 790,500 USD project was carried out from 2009 to July 2012, providing training to inspectors of the three food safety related sectors of public health, agriculture and rural development, and industry and trade. It also helped draft a decree on dealing with food safety violations and revised regulations in the fields.

However, Long said, violations in food safety and hygiene remain a challenge.

He proposed the Government and management ministries issue the decree on food safety and hygiene as soon as possible, and do more to improve the food inspection force in terms of both quantity and quality.-VNA