100 workers sickened in Vietnam: Having a food safety conference doesn’t help

Nearly 100 workers of a footwear company in HCM City’s Thu Duc District were rushed to hospitals on Wednesday evening allegedly for food poisoning.

vietnam.ngo_docThe workers reportedly suffered from stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhea after having dinner before the late shift.

Nguyen Thanh Binh, a doctor at the Emergency Department of Thu Duc District Hospital said that the workers displayed symptoms of food poisoning.

This food poisoning case occurred just a day before a conference in northern Thai Nguyen Province on food safety at collective canteens organised by the health ministry.

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long told the conference that more than 1,000 workers have been hospitalised for food poisoning after having meals at collective canteens in industrial zones and export processing zones each year.


Raw is risky: The danger of eating uncooked snails

Robert Herriman of Outbreak News Today reports that Vietnamese health officials in the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau are reporting the case of a 10-year-old boy who has been hospitalized with an infection with the rat lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis.

snailHe is currently recovering from the infection at a Ho Chi Minh City hospital neurology and infectious disease ward.

The boy’s mother said she was unaware of the dangers of eating snails. “We are not aware of the danger of eating snails. Residents here often catch snails and eat them because the rumor is that snails help treat aches and pains,” she said.

A hospital spokesperson said the infection is relatively rare but not unheard of. Last year, the ward admitted as many as 30 children, most of whom were from rural areas.

About time: Ho Chi Minh to issue fine to food safety violations

Individuals or businesses that violated food safety and hygiene regulations will receive a fine up to VND 200 million (US$9,260) said a representative from the Department of Industry and Trade in Ho Chi Minh City at a meeting.

Ho Chi Minh City.foodThe rule was introduced at a meeting between the Department with these enterprises of the city’s market stability program, aiming at deterring people from unsafe foodstuffs.

Name and shame, Vietnam style

Supermarket and residential market food safety inspection results will be open to the public in 2015, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said on Wednesday.

Vietnamese. Wedding FeastThe names of food providers that violated food safety regulations and those that adhered to them would be made public to ensure customers’ right to access to safe food, Long said.

In another effort to make food safer in 2015, the Ministry of Health planned a pilot programme, under which ward and commune inspection teams would be placed in Ha Noi and HCM City to examine food suppliers and deal with regulation violators.

“Those sub-district inspection teams will be granted the ability to impose direct fines on the violators,” Long said. “This is a radical idea we are rushing to implement as soon as possible.”

Vietnam buries thousands of cats smuggled for restaurants

Vietnamese authorities have buried thousands of cats, many apparently still alive, that were seized after being smuggled in a truck from China for restaurants, a police officer said Wednesday.

cats.food.chinaCat meat is easily available in some restaurants in Vietnam, especially in the north near the Chinese border, even though the government in 1998 ordered such restaurants closed and banned the trade of cats in an effort to encourage ownership and help keep the country’s rat population under control.

The cats that were buried were dealt with in accordance with the law because they posed an environmental and health risk, said the police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. He confirmed that live cats were buried but was uncertain how many.

Police last week had stopped the truck carrying 3 tons of cats in cramped bamboo baskets. The truck driver, to whom the cargo belonged, was fined 7.5 million dong ($360) for smuggling the animals.

7 dead, 28 sick: Vietnam recalls US apples due to Listeria concern

The Vietnam Food Administration has ordered a recall of Granny Smith and Gala apples imported from the U.S. after they were linked with listeriosis that killed three people (seven – dp) and hospitalized many others in the US.

apples-granny-smith-165384The agency said in a statement Tuesday that it has ordered all importers to recall the products.

It is monitoring food poisoning cases to identify possible Listeria monocytogenes infection for timely treatment.

Vietnam watchdog increases food safety inspection on festive season

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phong, deputy head of the Ministry of Health’s Vietnam Food Administration (VFA), yesterday said that the health sector will coordinate with other agencies to conduct inspection in a bid to prevent food poisoning in approaching Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays and festive season.

Vietnam Tet HolidayMr. Phong warned that inspectors will impose harsh penalties on food safety violators. Food safety watchdog will use media to grab local media attention over food safety and hygiene issues and provide useful information to protect consumers and genuine businesspersons.

The target of inspection is to reduce 10 percent of poisoning cases in Tet holidays and festivals in year-end. Inter-department inspection teams will be set up nationwide to expand inspection. 

Inspection mission will start in January, 2015 and last to March. 

Proper handwashing, pooping require proper tools: Dirty school bathrooms give students diarrhea in Vietnam

And it’s not just Vietnam.

Dirty toilets and bathrooms gave 40 per cent of Ho Chi Minh City students diarrhea, according to UNICEF Viet Nam.

dirty.bathroomLast month, the city’s Health Department reported that 220 students at District 12’s Nguyen Khuyen Elementary School were unable to go to school, as they suffered a digestion-related disease caused by unclean school toilets. Two children in the southern city died in July from a similar condition.

The Ministry of Health reported 3,719 diarrhea cases in HCM City in the first six months of 2014 out of 301,570 nationwide in the first eight months.

School bathrooms and toilets in urban areas of the city are often in poor condition due to the large number of students and teachers that use them, as well as the lack of soap and fresh water for cleaning.

vietnam.ToiletThe problem is even worse in rural areas of HCM City, where schools have no bathrooms at all. In those areas, 27 per cent of children have to go to the toilet outside the school.

170 workers hospitalized for food poisoning in northern Vietnam

At least 170 employees at a clothing factory in the northern province of Thai Binh were hospitalized for food poisoning after eating a lunch at the company on June 1 supplied by a caterer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdThe workers at Nienshing factory in Phuc Khanh Industrial Zone are being treated at three hospitals, Thai Binh, Lam Hoa and Hoang An, Dan Viet newspaper reported Monday.

The surge of patients overloaded the hospitals, leaving three to a bed. Many more patients were laid out on the hospital floors.

Dan Viet reported that the workers had come to believe the mass poisoning was caused by a company lunch served on Sunday.

The company hired the Dung Hop Company in Thai Binh Town to provide the meal at VND10,000 (US$0.47) per person.

Dung Hop served an omelet, minced pork and cabbage.

22 sick from staph in Vietnam horse-blood pudding

Twenty-two people in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai were poisoned after eating horse-blood pudding due to presence of Staphylococci and E. coli.

Test results of horse blood pudding showed that Staphylococci and E.coli were present in the dish which is reported to be popular with Hmong and other ethnic farming people in the mountains.