Thursday, January 5, 2017

City health officials to check ice at posh restaurants

HCM CITY – The HCM City Food Safety and Hygiene Agency will again co-operate with district health officials to inspect food establishments, especially three-star hotels and restaurants before Tết (the Lunar New Year).
At a meeting with district health officials on Thursday, Liêu Ngọc Lợi, deputy head of the department’s inspection division, said the inspections would focus on the ice used at the restaurants because many ice making facilities fail to meet food hygiene and safety standards.
From restaurants where ice is not stored in closed containers or is made at the place, samples would be taken for testing, she said.
They would be fined in case of violations, she added.
Last year as of November the agency and district health officials had checked all 193 ice making facilities in the city, found 33 of them violating hygiene regulations and fined 20 of them VNĐ117.7 million (US$5,185).
They also seized large quantities of stocks.
As of the end of June last year 25.6 per cent of the 193 facilities did not have a food safety and hygiene certificate.
According to the agency, the city needs 500 tonnes of ice a day.
Many of the smaller manufacturing facilities use well water and treat it in a variety of ways.
The high price of tap water, VNĐ20,500 (US$0.98) per cubic metre, makes it unaffordable for many of the manufacturers.
Nguyễn Thái, head of the health division at the District 3 People’s Committee, said ice making facilities pay fines for violations but continue to flout regulations. -VNS


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