“According to Vietnam’s amended Penal Code which took effect on Jan. 1, the slightest penalty for filthy food producers or traders is a fine of 50-200 million Vietnamese dong (2,200-8,800 U.S. dollars) or a jail term of 1-5 years, and the heaviest one is a jail term of 12-20 years, daily newspaper Tien Phong (Pioneer) reported.
The heaviest penalty is applied to serious food poisoning cases which sicken over 200 people or kill at least three people, or use large volumes of banned substances in foodstuffs.
Vietnam witnessed 111 food poisoning cases in 2017, which sickened 3,352 people and killed 22, said the country’s Preventive Health Department.
It saw 129 food poisoning cases that affected 4,127 people and claimed 12 lives in 2016.”
The news has been reported by the local press (Xinhua.net) and the move is most welcome due to the poor state of food safety in the country (Vietnamese killing themselves with dirty food).
This week on the EU RASFF (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we can find the following notifications:
1. Alerts followed by a recall from consumers:
- Allergens: Undeclared soya and barley in vegetable samosas in prepared dishes and snacks, following company’s own check. Notified by Ireland, distributed also to United Kingdom;
- Allergens: undeclared nuts (Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts and hazelnuts not listed) in raisins and almond mix from Germany, following company’s own check. Notified by Sweden, distributed also to Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, Malaysia, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom;
- Pathogenic micro-organisms: Norovirus (genogroup II) in frozen blueberries from France, with raw material from Ukraine, following an official control on the market. Notified by France, distributed also to Belgium, Cyprus and Luxembourg;
- Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella (presence /25g) in nigella seeds from India, packaged in the United Kingdom, following an official control on the market. Notified by Ireland, distributed also to India;
- Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella Havana (presence/25g) in frozen minced lamb from Sweden, following official control on the market. Notified by Finland.
2. Information for attention/for follow up followed by a recall from consumers:
3. Alerts followed by a withdrawal from the market:
- Foreign bodies: Plastic fragments in pumpkin soup from Germany, following consumer complaint. Notified by Germany, distributed also to France, Switzerland;
- Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria monocytogenes (presence) in golden enoki mushrooms from South Korea, following company’s own check. Notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom;
- FCM (Food Contact Materials): migration of cadmium (0.94 mg/item), of zinc (0.72 mg/item) and of aluminium (0.11 mg/item) from porcelain cups from the Netherlands, following official control on the market. Notified by Germany, distributed also to Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Spain.
5. Border rejections:
- abnormal smell of and dead mites and dead insects, in black pepper husk from India
- absence of health certificate(s) for mirin (rice wine) from China
- aflatoxins (B1 = 23.76; Tot. = 47.04 µg/kg – ppb) in dried figs and in shelled hazelnuts (Tot. = 43.6 µg/kg – ppb) from Turkey
- aflatoxins (B1 = 31; Tot. = 34 µg/kg – ppb) in pistachio kernels from the United States and from Iran (B1 = 32.7; Tot. = 34.7 µg/kg – ppb)
- aflatoxins (B1 = 52.5; Tot. = 57.6 µg/kg – ppb) in chilli powder from India
- aflatoxins (B1 = 7.7; Tot. = 8.3 µg/kg – ppb) in cheese flavoured snacks from the Philippines
- aflatoxins (B1 = 8.8; Tot. = 8.8 µg/kg – ppb) in chia seeds from Paraguay
- chlorpyrifos (0.35 mg/kg – ppm) in olives in brine from Egypt
- FCM (Food Contact Materials): migration of chromium (34.1 mg/kg – ppm) and of manganese (66.6 mg/kg – ppm) from blades for food preparation from Brazil
- FCM (Food Contact Materials): migration of nickel (0.37 mg/kg – ppm) from chromium-coated steel grill for microwave from China, via Hong Kong
- formetanate (0.334 mg/kg – ppm) in peppers from Turkey
- fosthiazate (0.044 mg/kg – ppm) in fresh peppers from Turkey
- fraudulent health certificate(s) for frozen clams from South Korea
- mercury (0.95 mg/kg – ppm) in chilled grouper (Epinephelus guaza) from Tunisia
- methomyl (0.095 mg/kg – ppm) and dimethoate (0.082 mg/kg – ppm) in yardlong beans (Vigna unguiculata) from the Dominican Republic
- poor temperature control of frozen octopus (Octopus vulgaris) from Mauritania
- procymidone (1.6 mg/kg – ppm) in fresh garlic stems from China
- propamocarb (0.22 mg/kg – ppm) and fluopicolide (0.034 mg/kg – ppm) in peas (Pisum sativum) from Kenya
- Salmonella (in 1 out of 5 samples /25g) in betel leaves from India
- spoilage of chilled bananas, pineapples, lemons and avocados from Ecuador infested with moulds
- too high content of sulphite (3556 mg/kg – ppm) in dried apricots from Turkey
- unauthorised substance carbendazim (0.34 mg/kg – ppm) in oolong tea from China
- unauthorised use of colour E 110 – Sunset Yellow FCF in various flavour noodles from the Philippines.