Action Month for Food Hygiene, Safety launched

A ceremony to launch ‘Action Month for Food Hygiene and Safety’ was held on April 11, Hanoi, by the Department of Food Hygiene and Safety.

This year’s Action Month, from April 15 to May 15, aims to combine the responsibility of the State, businesses and the public in ensuring food hygienean safety.

Addressing the event, Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan called o­n the Ministry of Health to closely work with relevant authorities to implement Action Month.

While environment pollution is increasing and many food-related epidemics have occurred, improving the public’s poor awareness of food safety and hygiene is a big challenge, she pointed out.

She urged the ministry to complete a draft food law, ready for submitting to the government and the National Assembly for consideration.

Administrations at all levels must strengthen their responsibility in ensuring food hygiene and safety, strictly punishing any violations and enhancing the public’s awareness of the issue. 

Action Month will help increase the role and responsibility of agencies, businesses, and consumers in strengthening food hygiene and safety, said Health Minister Nguyen Quoc Trieu.

The ministry will set up 10 inspection teams to check standards for food production, trade and processing in 31 provinces and cities. Each province or city will also establish their own team to aid the task, he said.

From 2000 to March 2009, 1,831 cases of food poisoning occurred in the country, affecting nearly 50,000 people and killing 499 people, according to the ministry’s statistics.