The Hanoitimes - Hanoi authority are raising more concerns about food safety and hygiene in the coming Tet holiday, as some recent visible violations related to animal slaughter in the city are especially troubling.
Vice head of Hanoi’s Animal Health Department Nguyen Ngoc Son said that the sale of animals at illegal street-side markets or temporary markets in residential areas was popular as the number and size of markets in Hanoi failed to meet demand.
Son said that sellers, mostly from suburban districts or neighbouring provinces carried meat by motorbikes to illegal street-side markets. Poultry sellers usually slaughtered the ducks or chickens at their stalls, which violated slaughtering, food safety and environment regulations. “Loose management over animal quarantine is seen at grass root levels,” he said.
In 2015, the city’s Health Animal Department and its branches destroyed thousands of animals and animal products of unknown origin including 20 pigs, 2.3 tonnes of poultry meat, over 2,500 poultry, 685 kilos of buffalo and two tonnes of meat. But the crackdown was a drop in the ocean, Son admitted.
Quarantine officers in communes complained that their salary was too low whereas their working hours were too long as animal slaughtering usually occurred from midnight to early morning. “Quarantine officers’ job is hard as many parties including animal raisers and wholesalers join slaughtering activities, which can be done anywhere, not just slaughtering houses as regulated,” Tinh said.
Concerning the price stabilisation programme, Le Hong Thang, Director of the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade said prices of essential goods will be inevitably volatile in the holiday but the municipal authority will prepare plans to keep prices stable.
Representative from the Hanoi Trade Corporation (Hapro), a major supermarket with many outlets in Hanoi, said Tet offers a business opportunity for the company, and it has prepared an abundant supply of goods and will organise over 60 sales points to serve the shopping needs of local people.
Enterprises suggested local authorities allow vehicles transporting food items and fuel to move inner city 24/7 to facilitate efficiency. The local trade department said it will closely supervise the supply and demand of goods and services and co-ordinate with other departments and agencies to tackle problems and difficulties for enterprises.
It said it will be willing to co-ordinate cargo traffic between producers and distributors to ensure well-timed traffic and supply. It has also directed enterprises and producers to actively prepare production and supply plans to ensure stable prices.
By Tuan Minh