Quick response force to tackle food safety problems in Hanoi hinh anh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (front, second from right) examine food safety at Long Bien market (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has accepted a proposal to set up a quick response force in Hanoi to deal with food safety problems.

He made the approval during a working session with municipal officials on September 27, which focused on the complicated food safety situation in the capital city, and relevant mechanisms and policies to improve the management in the field.

City officials reported that a steering board for food safety has been set up led by the chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, and similar steering boards established at all 30 districts and townships. The heads of local administrations must take responsibility for the field while vice chairpersons of district-level People’s Committees are required to examine food safety situation every two weeks. Chairmen of communal-level People’s Committees must make at least one inspection tour each a week.

From January to September, Hanoi inspected nearly 77,400 food processing facilities and discovered 12,370 violations of relevant regulations. More than 22.6 billion VND (over 1 million USD) in fines was collected.

According to Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung, the municipal administration will receive five specialised cars as gifts from Vingroup for quick food testing at markets at the end of the year.

Speaking at the meeting, PM Phuc stressed food safety is of critical importance since it relates to people’s life and health.

While applauding food safety ensuring efforts in Hanoi, which has a large area and population, he pointed to the fact that city dwellers have not fully trust the safety of local food. Additionally, the management of in several aspects such as health food and abattoirs and the handling of food safety violators haven’t been done well enough.

He told local authorities to press ahead with assigning specific duties and responsibility to each official and agency, tighten the control of small abattoirs, and take drastic actions to improve management of street food.

They must also strictly deal with violators, publicise information about unqualified food providers, launch food safety checking campaigns, and pay more heed to food safety at craft villages, the Government leader noted.

Earlier the same day, the PM made a fact-finding tour of Long Bien market, one of the biggest wholesale markets in the city, and a safe vegetable farming model in Van Duc commune of Gia Lam district.-VNA