Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vietnam tightens food safety during Lunar New Year Festival

HANOI, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's health inspectors have made their final checks on food and beverage safety in all domestic markets in an effort to minimize food poisoning during the country's traditional Lunar New Year Festival, the Vietnam News reported Friday.

Most of the imported products in 100 local confectionary shops were found to be without clear origins, said the newspaper.

Fruit shop-owners in Long Bien market, the main fruit supplier in the capital Hanoi, were also unable to provide proof of origin for their products.

The inspectors asked the management board of market and relevant authorities to collect and seal up all these products until the owners had enough documents to verify product origin, said the newspaper.

Violators will be strictly punished in line with Vietnamese regulations. Companies that failed to show certificates of food safety and hygiene will be fined 600 to 900 U.S. dollars, while low quality products will be confiscated and destroyed, said chief health inspector of Hanoi Health Department Nguyen Viet Cuong.

Serious violators would have their business licenses revoked and possibly face criminal proceedings, said Cuong.


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