Food safety and things to keep in mind in Vietnam
Food safety: Recently, the issue of dirty food has attracted special attention from the public. The number of food poisoning cases, particularly in Ho Chi Minh City, are very alarming, highlighted the need for better food safety management in Vietnam. The authorities have now tightened the rules to prevent the harmful effects from food-related issues to the public’s health.
However, many food producers and traders have not paid adequate attention for assuring food safety, resulting in sanctions from management agencies.
CERTIFICATION OF FOOD SAFETY ELIGIBILITY
Certification of food safety eligibility is a mandatory requirement for most food producers and traders. Every food manufacturer and seller must obtain the certificate of food safety, except for those specified as followed:
1. Exemption from the certificate of food safety
The following entities are not required to obtain the certificate of food safety:
- Micro food manufacturers;
- Mobile food manufacturers and sellers;
- Micro food processors;
- Micro food sellers;
- Sellers of prepackaged foods;
- Manufacturers and sellers of instruments and materials for wrapping and storing food;
- Restaurants within hotels;
- Industrial kitchens not registered as a food business;
- Street food vendors;
- Any food business that has one of the following certificates: GMP, HACCP, ISO 22000, IFS, BRC, FSSC 22000 or an equivalent certificate.
(Article 12 of Decree 15/2018 / ND-CP guiding the Law on Food Safety)
2. Should businesses use fake certificates of food safety in their production and business processes?
There are many opinions that recommend the enterprises to use fake certificates to bypass competent authorities and customers. According to Vietnamese laws, this act is illegal and can lead to criminal prosecution.
Accordingly: Any person who fabricates an organization’s seal or document or use it to commit an illegal act shall be liable to a fine of from VND 30,000,000 to VND 100,000,000 or face a penalty of up to 03 years’ community sentence or 03 months – 7 years’ imprisonment:
(Article 341 Criminal Code 2015)
In addition, this act can adversely affect the enterprises’ reputation. It would be very risky to use fake certificates when operating business activities.
3. Food sellers and businesses should choose a reputable law firm to support in obtaining the certificates
The reality also shows that not all businesses have enough knowledge, experience and time to organize and build their facilities up to the standards required for food hygiene. The best solution is to find a reputable law firm with many years of experience in this field to advise, guide and support businesses to carry out the processes complied with the laws:
- Checking and reviewing all documents, papers and information related to Clients’ businesses;
- Advising the Clients on the shortcomings in equipment, facilities such as: arranging equipment, tools, background conditions, walls, ceilings, electrical systems, ventilation systems, warehouses yards, wastes, … on the one-way principle.
- Organizing training courses on food safety and granting certifications for particitpants, conducting the health checks for all employees.
- Preparing dossier of application for a certificate of food safety eligibility, which comprises an application, a written explanations about the satisfaction of food safety and hygiene conditions of physical foundations, equipment and tools,… and other documents.
- Submitting dossiers at competent state agencies.
- Joining with Clients to welcome the inspectorate, which will to carry out a site inspection.
- Getting the results and hand over the results to the Clients.
[LTT & LAWYERS:] The article was published for the purpose of educating, disseminating and propagating laws and guidelines and policies of the State for non-commercial purposes. The information above is for reference only and some legal information may have expired, so please consult with professional lawyers or experts before applying those information in practice.
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