December 27, 2011
Failure to meet hygiene and quality standards in various samples of Vietnamese meat, vegetables and seafood have triggered the public concerns over health threats, as warning given by experts on December 25.
After checking 162 breeding areas in 37 provinces and cities, authorities found 36 samples of aquatic products and breeding fish contaminated by chemical residue and antibiotics with excessive levels, said Nguyen Nhu Tiep, director of the Agriculture Products Quality Management Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
MARD Minister Cao Duc Phat said that up to 38% of slaughtering houses do not satisfy the veterinary hygiene requirements, resulting in a local report found that 60% of meat products in the market are poor quality.
Regarding the quality of vegetables, Phat added that 7% of vegetable samples have pesticide residue exceeding the permitted standard. This means that one in 10 million tonnes of vegetables is substandard products.
Since early this year, market regulators in Ho Chi Minh City have uncovered hundreds of cases of transporting contaminated meat from the north and central regions to the city for sales, threatening local people's health.
Phat urged local authorities to take drastic measures to deal with the issue to ensure more people have access to clean food.
Vietnam recorded 142 food poisoning cases since the beginning of the year to December 15, affecting 4,533 people with 25 deaths.