22 Jun 2012 -- Food Safety is a major concern for the Government of Vietnam. Not only is it a public health challenge, it also has substantive economic implications, in terms of production and market losses. While exact figures are not available, a number of food borne zoonoses are thought to be present in Vietnam. Poor hygiene standards in trading and slaughtering of animal derived products increase the risk of zoonotic infections in humans. The incidence of infections in humans can be reduced, when adequate trading or slaughtering practices are implemented.
The Prime Minister has recently approved a National Food Safety Strategy for the period, 2011-2020, for which Vietnam has set targets for compliances with food safety regulations, completion of food safety management plans in all central cities and provinces, and reductions in acute food poisoning cases.
The Department of Animal Health (DAH) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will jointly organize a final workshop on 25 June 2012 at the Ball Room 2, Melia Hotel, 44B Ly Thuong Kiet, in Hanoi, to present the findings from the UN One plan funded project titled ““Strengthening Veterinary Public Health to Support the New Food Safety Law and to Improve Surveillance and to Reduce the Risk of Food-Borne and Zoonotic Pathogens in Vietnam”.
While there are a variety of legal documents on food safety, many of them overlap and lack a clear focus. To enable the food regulators to ensure the safety of animal derived food products, there is an ongoing need to strengthen the capacity of the veterinary services on aspects of food safety.
In this context, this project has supported the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), primarily DAH, to facilitate the implementation of the new Food Safety Law through a baseline analysis on existing veterinary legislation, to identify the gaps and to recommend modifications. The project has also aimed to strengthen surveillance for food borne and zoonotic pathogens, through laboratory capacity building activities and market surveys.
The objectives of the final workshop is to present the findings from this project and to discuss next steps and follow-up actions to further support the Government of Vietnam to reduce the risk of food borne zoonoses and to ensure the safety of animal derived food products.
For further information, please contact:
Operations Coordinator, FAO ECTAD Vietnam Program
Tel: (04) 3942 4208 , Ext: 17