Despite positive changes among individuals and organizations, food safety inspection still faces difficulties.
Over the last three years Hanoi had identified and handled 4,543 cases of food safety and quality measurement violations, according to the city’s Department of Industry and Trade, imposing fines of nearly VND4 billion ($178,600) and seizing and destroying goods worth VND33.5 billion ($1.5 million).
Head of the Industry Division at the Department, Ms. Nguyen Thi Quynh Van, told local media that after three years of implementing Decree No. 38/2012/ND-CP from the government detailing a number of articles in the Law on Food Safety, food safety and hygiene in the capital has seen many positive changes from State administration, the business community, and consumers.
The Department, she said, has actively coordinated with the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to certify establishments that meet food safety standards, remove obstacles, and avoid any overlapping of responsibilities.
Basic knowledge about food safety among individuals and organizations has also increased significantly, which indicates greater efficiency in management, advocacy, education, and legislation on food safety.
Inspections still contain many limitations, however, such as a lack of experts in the field of food safety and inspection equipment. The provisions of existing laws are also inadequate and do not clearly define management responsibilities between ministries and departments in certifying eligible establishments on food safety.
Legal documents overlap, with no sanctions available for serious violations of food safety.