- According to the General Statistics Office, during the first six months of 2012, 58 food poisoning outbreaks occurred in Viet Nam, infecting 1,901 persons, of whom 14 died.
- The 5 keys for safer food are:
- Good hygiene;
- Separate raw and cooked;
- Cook all foods thoroughly;
- Keep food at a safe temperature;
- Use safe water and trusted raw materials.
- Food safety is a shared responsibility from farm to table. Ensuring the safety of food depends on the efforts of everyone involved in the food chain continuum, from production, processing, transport to consumption.
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognizes the "right to an adequate standard of living, including the right to “adequate food". This implies that food should be safe to eat and free from adverse substances.
- Since Viet Nam joined the WTO in 1997, the global trade in food products has increased rapidly. While globalization brings opportunities for economic growth, international trade also heightens the risk of globalization of unsafe food. Control systems need to adapt to these changing needs.
- Food safety is a public health priority for the Government of Viet Nam. The human cost of food-borne diseases, lost production from diseases and related market losses surpasses $1billion a year (2% of GDP).
- Viet Nam’s entry into the World Trade Organization has generated the need to adapt food safety to international standards. Coordination of activities to ensure safe practices along the entire food chain is a challenging task.
- A new law on food safety enacted in July 2011 redefined the roles and responsibilities of the different ministries involved in food safety, as well as limiting the number of ministries involved.
- The Viet Nam Food Administration, within the Ministry of Health, is responsible for issuing technical regulations and conducting food safety inspections.
- The Ministry of Health is responsible for ensuring the safety of the following products and premises: fortified food, functional food, infant formula for children, natural minerals, bottled water; catering services and street food.
- The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is responsible for the safety of agricultural, forestry and maritime products and their sub-products.
- The Ministry of Industry and Trade is responsible for the safety standards of alcohol, beer, beverage, milk, vegetable oil, flour, powder, seasoning, instant noodles, food additives and processing aids.
- For more than a decade, WHO has worked with key partners to provide technical support on a wide range of food safety activities.
- WHO's work includes:
- Advising on international regulations and best practices;
- Supporting food-borne disease monitoring, surveillance and response;
- Promoting the adoption of risk-based approaches in the food-control system (for example, the concept of risk analysis);
- Strengthen the diagnostic capacities of food safety laboratories and developing the food safety laboratory network;
- Raising awareness and supporting community education and training;
- Advocating a participatory approach that includes all the stakeholders involved in food safety
- Increasing the participation of Viet Nam in regional and global initiatives such as the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN).