ABSTRACTFood safety seems to be the global concern of all the nations in the world. This paper, based on secondary research, will study food safety in Vietnam.
Nowadays, more and more food-related diseases are being discovered. It is likely that lack of awareness and reluctance of individuals and governments have worsened this situation.Particularly, the findings include 3 main parts: facts, causes for the gradual growth of food poisoning cases and feasible solutions to tackle. It is revealed that despite several actions taken by authorities and governments, food condition is gradually deteriorating.Therefore, some suggested measurements, which consist of solutions for individuals and governments to better the unsanitary food situation.All things considered that only by co-operation between residents and authorities can this above issue be solved.TABLES OF CONTENTSABSTRACT 21.Introduction 42.
Discussion of findings 42.1 The situations of food poisoning in Vietnam 42.2 The causes of the increase in the number of food-borne cases 52.
3 Suggested solutions to tackle the problem 63.Conclusion 7References 81. IntroductionFor the time being, food appears to play an indispensable role in people’s daily life.
According to Fisher (n.d), ”first we eat,then do everything else”, in which he appreciates the importance of food to one’s life. Nonetheless, people currently have to suffer from a variety of food-borne diseases, making food hygiene become the priority concern of both individuals and governments throughout the world.
Basically, food hygiene is defined as the essential conditions to make sure that the food meet the safety standards from manufacturing to eating. As food may be poisoned at any stage, which may raise the risk of food-related diseases and even deaths (WHO). This organization also claim that ‘unsafe food containing harmful bacteria,chemicals,parasites and viruses causes more than 200 diseases ranging from diarrhoea to cancer”. As a result, 220 million children are with diarrhoea and 96 million are reported to die annually all over the world. From my perspective, unsanitary food, which leads to catastrophic consequences, has jeopardised people worldwide. Therefore, heath concerns in general and food safety in detail should be taken into consideration and put at the top of priority. This research, which is at the aim of raising awareness of food safety in Vietnam, will discuss this issue in terms of its situations, causes and suggested solutions.2.
Discussion of findings 2.1 Current situations of food in VietnamNumber Year Cases Victims Deaths1 2010 175 5,664 512 2011 148 4,700 273 2012 168 5,541 344 2013 160 5,238 285 2014 193 5,202 426 2015 171 4,965 237 2016 129 4,139 128 2017 139 3,869 24Total 8 years 1,283 39,218 241The number of food poisoning cases 2010-2017On 2nd April , 2015 , WHO announced the number of food-borne cases all over the world: 582 million (Sifferlin, 2015). This is an amazing figure, making food poisoning a worrying issue shared by many people in both developing and affluent countries.
Thus, Vietnam is undoubtedly not an exception. Vietnamese now wonder whether the food they eat on a daily basis can meet the food safety standard or not. In fact, according to the figures collected by Vietnam Food Administration in 2016,annually there are approximately 250-500 cases with food poison with 7000-10000 victims and 100-200 deaths in this country, arousing anxiety in consumers nationwide. Looking at the details, it is virtually apparent that the number of cases, patients and deaths has decreased slightly during eight-year span. However, these figures are prone to go up in the next few years due to a sudden increase of death between 2016 and 2017. Hence, unhygienic food has prioritized concern of all buyers in all items.In terms of meat, it plays an integral role in daily meal of each household. Approximately 75% of meat consumed everyday is pork while this sort of meat is liable to do harm to consumers if it exceeds microbial contamination limit.
216 samples from 72 pig farms, 545 from 49 slaughterhouses and 514 from 220 pork shops in wet market were taken from 2 provinces in Vietnam: Hung Yen and Nghe An to demonstrate this facts. The results from above sources for Salmonella are 35%, 30% and 37% respectively and for E.coli are in turn 91%,75% and 79%. Most of the above statistics are above acceptable quality limit, putting consumers’ health at risk (Round Table Discussion, 2016).
Regarding aquaculture, according to General Department of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam is a big supplier of aquaculture products to the US, EU and Japan with the total export amounting to 7.6 billion USD. The problem is that seafood takes risk of being contaminated due to water pollution . Recently, fishermen along the central coast have had to encounter massive loss of aquaculture economy and the surrounding ecology as a Taiwanese steel manufacturer discharged toxic chemicals into the sea,killing a vast majority of creatures of nearby culture beds (Deetz, 2013).
As for junk food, South-East Asia is a well-known land for its diversity of cheap and yummy food. In Vietnam, eating street food is a shared habit . Tran Van Ky from Vietnam Association of Food Science and Technology believes that the majority of ingredients of street food are unsafe. Sellers abuse flavouring, food colouring and food preservatives to increase the original taste. In some cases, an excessive intake of this kind of food may cause food poisoning, even cancer for long-term usage (Trends, n.d).Fresh vegetables and fruits are also priority concern of Vietnamese consumers as production merely concentrates on quantity.
Fruit and Vegetable Research Institute estimated that annually 15.4 million tons of vegetables and 8.3 million tons of fruits are distributed and eaten.
However, pesticides and herbicides are overused to raise the productivity to meet the enormous demand. Besides, Vietnam also imports a large amount of this products from other countries and China is a typical example.In 2014, 30% of Vietnam vegetables and fruits was estimated to be imported from China and this figure surged to 70% last year. Meanwhile, experts from Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research warn consumers of high risks of food poisoning because of low-quality products. Therefore, this type of food also worry Vietnamese buyers (VOV, 2017).2.
2 Causes of the rise in food poisoningThe rapid growth of unsanitary food can be caused by a number of factors.The first and foremost one may be the lack of awareness in production. There used to be a nationwide campaign so-called ”SAY NO TO DIRTY FOOD” launched by Vietnam television in 2016 but residents seemed to be reluctant and paid little attention to this program (Vietnamnet, 2016). It indicates that Vietnamese people are likely to ignore food safety issue. Pham Van Tan- the deputy chairman of Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Association claimed that the amount of chemical pesticides,herbicides and fertilisers for growing vegetables in 2010 was 2.5 times higher than that utilized in 2011 (Viet Nam News, 2016) and statistics given by Ministry of Agriculture and rural development showed that about 6.
8 tonnes of meat stimulants had reportedly been imported illegally into Vietnam to preserve food. The insufficient care for the consumers’ health and blind greed might have stimulated suppliers to use preservatives and chemicals to gain more profits. In 2008, a frightening food incident was revealed to public.
They found Melamine in child powers,which was used deliberately to raise the protein level containing in this products. As a consequence, about 300,000 Chinese new-born babies and little children had to suffer from kidney diseases and urinary tract infection, in which there were 6 cases reported to die due to use of this item(Spencer, 2008).Last but not least, loose laws and regulations are to blame for the deterioration of this issue. As an illustration, people all over the world witnessed the bad influences of using low-quality oil in India, causing a massive cohort of children killed after eating such unhealthy ingredients. If Indian government had passed stricter laws, a number of families would not have had to endure lasting hurt and could not forgive for this brutal action (Deetz, 2013).2.3 Suggested solutionsIt is advisable that both individuals and governments take urgent actions to confront with unsafe food. With regard to individuals, consumers are encouraged to purchase food from trustworthy stores and take notice of food labelling where they will find all the information about the products.
Thanks to this practice, they may eliminate the risk of food poisoning (Keir, Wise and Krebs, 2002).Regarding the authorities, the government should enact more severe laws to punish or fine those transmitting, storing and trading unsafe food (Deetz, 2013) and stimulate healthy activities like food labelling. Labelled products are healthy, nutritious and guaranteed ones. Moreover, public awareness is bound to be raised. For consumers, there should be more campaigns and food programs launched for residents to take this problem into account and be capable of recognizing fresh food as well. Additionally, Vietnam’s Food Administration should provide training on food hygiene to vendors to enhance their food quality. Training is liable to better food hygiene in Vietnam with a large number of butchers (85%) reported to use disinfectants and avoid chemicals as well as preservatives compared to 48% in previous years (Johnson, Mayne, Grace and Wyatt, 2015).
Especially, after this course if their food an not meet the demand, they will definitely fined or even forced to stop their trading (WHO,2015)3. ConclusionIn a nutshell, food poisoning has grown in popularity and complexity. It is vital that people be provided with adequate information about the complication and severity of food poisoning in Vietnam. Urgent measures had better be taken as soon as possible. If the public cares about this problem by doing simple actions on a daily basis, this issue may be improved and there will be fewer food-related cases and deaths reported annually