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Hanoi's food safety management faces numerous challenges.
Thanh Thanh - Trong Tung 21:46, 2024/07/02
The lack of national technical standards and regulations for various foodstuffs poses a challenge to production and business establishments regarding self-declaring their products.

Despite the Hanoi authorities' focus on food safety, its management faces numerous challenges that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Concerns of the locality

  Food safety inspection at a catering company in Hanoi. Photo: Trong Tung

Nguyen Trong Khien, Vice Chairman of the Thanh Oai District People's Committee, said most food production and business establishments in his jurisdiction are small, household-based, and somewhat informal, making it difficult to fully implement all legal requirements.

"Some establishments operate seasonally without investing in facilities and equipment as required," Khien said.

Meanwhile, Luu Thi Hong Sen, head of the Health Department in Soc Son District, said that human resources for food safety management at the district and commune levels remain low.
This constraint has resulted in significant limitations in the implementation of management activities, especially when it comes to inspections.

He went on to say that food products are becoming more diverse in shape and style; many food products have no obvious origin, are counterfeit or copied, and low-quality goods are circulating in the market, while some food producers and enterprises continue to lack a sense of community duty. In pursuit of profit, they breach food safety regulations, endangering the health of local residents.

The lack of national technical standards and regulations for various foods poses a challenge to production and business establishments when it comes to self-declaring their products and creates barriers for regulators in monitoring, inspecting, and post-inspecting the self-declaration of products.

Completing legal regulations

The implementation process of the 2024 National Food Safety Action Month has revealed numerous recurring problems and limitations that need to be further addressed, according to the Hanoi Department of Health.

Nguyen Dinh Hoa, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that based on research and review, the department has proposed to relevant ministries and agencies to amend technical standards and regulations on safety indicators for agricultural and food products.

He added that the goal is to complete and standardize the regulatory documents, such as establishing acceptable limits for food safety indicators that are currently missing, as well as regulations on acceptable limits for certain analytical indicators.

The department has also proposed amendments to Decree 15/2018/ND-CP, including a regulation requiring certification bodies to publicly announce and submit monthly to local food safety authorities a list of establishments with valid GMP, HACCP, and other food safety certifications. This will allow the authorities to enforce food safety regulations in these establishments.

The Hanoi Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will continue to support and guide the establishment of safe agricultural supply chains in the city's 30  districts, rural districts, and towns in the city.

In addition, the department will strengthen its support for the development of One Commune One Product (OCOP) products to promote manufacturing with higher standards, quality, and value-added to meet market demands.

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