15:33 (GMT +7) - Tuesday 25/10/2016


Verifying quality

Released at: 17:15, 10/10/2014

Verifying quality

Modern retailers pay significant attention to food hygiene.

Each modern retailer has their own way of controlling food hygiene but most focus on input quality. They expressed determination and confidence in implementing food quality controls, especially fresh food like meat and vegetables. Hapro, for example, sends staff to farms to supervise food input quality, Saigon Co.op mart only cooperates with reliable food suppliers, while convenience stores such as FairFood seek national or international certificates to verify food quality. No matter how hard they try, however, loopholes in food management still exist, primarily stemming from carelessness among employees and transportation issues.

“In each supermarket we have a department that checks product quality. If quality is found lacking the products are returned to suppliers. The supermarket conducts thorough checks on our suppliers, to confirm that processing and preservation are within standards set by authorities. For example, pork products must be fully certified. We also conduct unannounced inspections at suppliers, to ensure quality. Ocean Mart has operating procedures to ensure that products are always tested professionally. Although the process has been standardised according to international norms, some processes cannot be guaranteed because of carelessness in administration or negligence among staff. We require that all staff comply with regulations and we listen to customer feedback to improve our operations.”

Mr Nguyen Trong Tuan, Deputy Director, Ocean Mart 

“We have a special department that takes delivery of products, which is trained and controlled by our Quality Control Department and complies with our internal control processes. Before receipt, the origin of products must be backed up by customs papers and quarantine certificates from State agencies. Product quality is strictly controlled by checks on any hazardous residue. At the same time, suppliers must provide frequent test results and documentation from State agencies. This is how we ensure goods from suppliers are legal. Lotte Mart receives feedback regarding any poor quality products that are sold, and we are confident about the quality of the products we sell. Some imported goods, however, do not adapt well to Vietnam’s environmental conditions. Lotte Mart always attempts to improve the quality of its products, under a commitment made to our customers.”

Mr Hong Won Sik, General Director, Lotte Mart Vietnam

“Managing our sources is the most important matter in ensuring the quality of food products. We only buy food from farms with VietGAP certification and that satisfy the criteria of the non-government organisation with which we cooperate. We also never purchase food via agents, to prevent a situation where good quality food is mixed with poor quality food. We check on the quality of our suppliers before coming to terms with them. Selecting local specialities as well as buying in suitable volumes also play an important role in guaranteeing the food quality. We are proud to say that we have never received any complaints about food hygiene and safety.”

Ms Vu Thi Chinh, Head of the Procurement Department, FairFood

“Strengthening quality control and preservation methods are key to ensuring food hygiene and safety. We have adopted certain rules, such as not purchasing large quantities, passing on customer feedback to suppliers, and controlling all contracts and certificates. We also have different methods for managing the quality of our meat and vegetable products. With vegetables, we have well-trained staff checking the quality of each product. With meat, we have test sticks to detect preservatives. Our storage conditions are precise to ensure food remains fresh and safe. Very few low quality products pass through our system, and when they do we immediately apologise to customers and provide a refund, then identify the problem and address it.”

Ms Nguyen Thi Hanh, Unimart in Pham Ngoc Thach Street

“Our food hygiene management process has three stages: product examination, supplier inspection, and sales control. In the first we ask suppliers for certificates verifying food hygiene. We also pay significant attention to quality when initially selecting suppliers, preferring those with ISO or HACCP certification or certification from the Ministry of Health, to guarantee quality. We also have particular methods to control different types of products. For example, vegetables must come from suppliers with VietGAP or GlobalGAP certification while our meat products only come from prestigious suppliers such as the Vissan Company. In the second stage, we inspect our suppliers and require them to improve their production process to ensure food quality. We also randomly select food samples for inspection. In the last stage we use technology to guarantee the storage conditions at our supermarkets are perfect. However, it is possible for mistakes to be made by employees who fail to carefully check the expiry date on product labels.”

Mr Vo Hoang Anh, Marketing Director, Saigon Co.op

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