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PM calls for more positive changes in food safety in 2020

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called for more positive changes in ensuring food safety in 2020 while chairing a teleconference on food safety on January 11.

He ordered relevant forces to apply strict administrative or criminal punishments on food safety violations without overlooking any cases.

According to the Ministry of Health, after two years of implementing the Prime Minister’s directive on food safety, authorities have prosecuted 28 cases with 42 defendants for violating regulations on food safety, including trade of counterfeit food and food additives.

In 2019, the country recorded 76 food poisoning cases, making over 1,900 people hospitalised and killing eight. The figures represented year-on-year declines of 29.6 percent, 37.2 percent and 52.9 percent, respectively.

PM Phuc recognised some achievements in the field. For example, major cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hai Phong have focused on developing clean food production chains with neighbouring production areas. Most of cities and provinces have set up concentrated slaughtering facilities.

However, he also pointed out difficulties such as the operation of over eight million small-scale production households, which could pose many risks for food safety.

The use of food additives without clear origin still exists, while the awareness of some people and businesses is still poor, he added.

Ensuring food safety must be intensified, and this is the responsibility of the whole society, the Government, and authorities at all levels, the PM said.

He suggested expanding safe food production and business chain models and completing the project of developing organic agricultural products for his approval as well as increasing public awareness about food safety.