The HCMC Food Safety Board, the HCMC Export Processing and Industrial Zone Authority (HEPZA) and the HCMC Labor Federation have signed an agreement on cooperation in enhancement of food safety management in 2017-2019.
This cooperation is part of a campaign to prevent food poisoning at export processing and industrial zones in the city.
According to HEPZA director Nguyen Hoang Nang, the city has 17 export processing and industrial zones which are home to over 1,160 factories and nearly 286,000 workers. There are 217 enterprises having canteens for workers, with 124 of them having their own cooks. Ninety-three enterprises hire catering services while 364 order ready meals and 424 provide meal allowances to the workers.
Nang said food safety has remained a pressing issue at export processing and industrial zones. Those catering companies seeking to maximize profits use cheap foodstuffs of unclear origin, which is a source of food poisoning.
In 2016, there were four food poisoning cases at export processing and industrial zones in the city with 311 workers affected.
The cooperation agreement is aimed at lowering food poisoning cases, ensuring food safety and improving management of meal quality.
Pham Khanh Phong Lan, director of the HCMC Food Safety Board, said the cooperation would help make food safety management more efficient. All stages of catering services, from production to storage and distribution, will be inspected in a bid to cut food poising cases in the coming years by 30% compared to 2016.