Food hygiene, chemical checks to be enhanced

To minimise food poisoning, the Viet Nam Food Administration (VFA) plans to set up a system to quickly check food for harmful bacteria and too much preservatives and other chemicals.

Under the system, samples of food in danger of being contaminated would be regularly tested at wholesale markets, said VFA Director Nguyen Cong Khan. Read more of this post


Enhance seafood safety and hygiene inspection

Mr. Phung Huu Hao, Deputy Department of National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance (NAFIQAD) said, this year, NAFIQAD will enhance food safety and hygiene inspection for seafood processing plants with the high frequency.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Department (MARD) proposed key provincial People’s Committee to strongly implement the measures to strengthen and control the local establishments of purchasing and preprocessing Read more of this post

Clearly assign the inspection and monitoring agencies of seafood safety

On 20th December, 2010, the Ministry of Agriculture and RuralDevelopment (MARD) issued Decision No.3408/QD-BNN-QLCL assigningthe organization of inspection and monitoring for the quality ofagricultural materials and the safety of food, agricultural-forestry-fisheryproducts under its management.
Accordingly, the Directorate of Fisheries (D-FISH) is responsible for inspecting and monitoring the production, import, transport and export of freshwater, brackish and salt seafood such as finfish, mollusk and other species. Read more of this post

Pangasius production and marketing: Focus on quality

On January 18, 2011, in Can Tho city, the Steering Committee for Pangasius Production and Marketing held a conference on development management of the sector in the year 2011.


Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and Director of the Fisheries Directorate (D-Fish), Mr. Vu Van Tam chaired the meeting. Participants included D-Fish Deputy Director Pham Anh Tuan; officials from the provincial agriculture and rural development departments (DARD); related ministries, sectors, enterprises and farmers; and professional associations.

According to the 2010 summary report, through December 30, 2010, nearly 2.4 billion of fish fries have been stocked in 5,400ha of farming area in the Mekong Delta. Pangasius output of the region is estimated more than 1.1 million MT. Pangasius export turnover is expected to reach US$1.4 billion with export volume of 645,000MT.

Pangasius farming area in Dong Thap province decreased to 1,580ha in 2010, with an output of 291,000MT and export turnover of US$299 million. Mr. Dang Ngoc Loi, Deputy Chief of Dong Thap DARD said “With one breeding center at national level, five hatcheries at district level and many small hatcheries, Dong Thap can provide 1.3 billion Pangasius juveniles annually, meeting demand of local farmers. In 2011, Dong Thap strives to increase Pangasius farming area to 2,000ha, with an output of 300,000MT.

According to Director of Can Tho DARD, in 2010, the province has already implement the Pangasius farming area planning, reduced the number of small-scale farms, and expanded concentrated farming area. By the end of 2010, Can Tho had 750ha for Pangasius farming, with an output of 230,000MT, a decrease of 5 percent over the previous year. In 2011, Can Tho will focus on strengthening the links between four stakeholders in the Pangasius chain: farmers, processors, feed producers and seed providers.

Most participants at the conference stressed on the importance of Pangasius output management in 2011. Mr. Nguyen Huu Dung, Vice Chairman of VASEP, said D-Fish and the Steering Committee should ask Viet Nam government to focus on quality instead of volume in Pangasius production. Mr. Duong Ngoc Minh, Director of Hung Vuong Corp, said “If we have to assure the higher output by year, we will not have advantages in Pangasius production and export. It is now essential to have quality standards as soon as possible.”

This year, D-Fish will concentrate on building VietGAP – Viet Nam’s standards for the certification of production processes of agricultural and aquaculture products.

Pangasius production in 2011 is planed to reach 1.2 to 1.3 million MT in 2010, with an export turnover of US$1.45 to 1.5 billion.

In his closing speech to the conference, Mr. Tam pointed out following solutions to consolidate Pangasius production in 2011:

1-      Intensifying propaganda campaign for Pangasius as a safe, hygiene, delicious and cheap seafood product.

2-      Transferring 100,000 improved quality Pangasius broodstock to the major Pangasius producing provinces in Mekong delta. And strengthening application of scientific and technologies achievements in socializing Pangasius breeding production.

3-      Fisheries sector in close collaboration with the State Bank try to provide up to 70 percent of the investment demand of farmers and producers in 2011.

4-      Tightening the inspection of input factors according to the Decision No.172 and better controlling epidemic and diseases.

5-      Establishing different types of linkage between professional associations related to Pangasius production.


Source: Vietfish


USDC Certification for Vietnamese seafood!

Vietnam is ramping up its use of United States Department of Commerce inspections to verify compliance with its HACCP and food safety requirements.

The Vietnamese Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP) held a recent meeting and seminar with David Moisan, Regional Director for USDC Seafood Inspection Program (SIP), Charles and Lisa Cardile of C&S Laboratory Consultants and Jim Bugbee, a consultant and former head of QVD (a leader in Pangasius and seafood products from Vietnam) in the USA, to discuss the requirements, benefits and future trends of the program.

About 50 companies attended the meeting, including some shrimp exporters.

The USDC program is gaining prominence in Vietnam as USA-based customers now look to the USDC Seafood Inspection Program (SIP) as a third-party verification of HACCP compliance and food safety for all exported seafood products.

There are currently three processing plants in Vietnam in the SIP program all of which have worked with C&S Laboratory Consultants to assure compliance with USDC and FDA regulations.

There are over 38 processing plants currently in the overseas USDC program from 12 countries.  The recent memorandum of understanding between FDA and USDC could make this program an integral part of HACCP compliance and food safety assurance for both exporters and importers.  The USDC is the only USA government regulatory agency specifically focused on seafood safety, quality and HACCP compliance.

In 2011, USDC is planning to make available a new seal that can be used on both food service and retail consumer packaged goods highlighting compliance with this USA government program focused on overseas producers.


Japan inspect 100% of shrimp from Vietnam to detect Trifluralin

On November 11, 2010, after finding three batches of Vietnamese shrimp that contained trifluralinTrifuralin structure, an herbicide, Japanese authorities began inspecting 100% of Vietnamese shrimp imports.  Truong Dinh Hoe, secretary general of Vietnam’s seafood exporters association, said Japan had already been inspecting 30 percent of Vietnamese shrimp imports after a warning about trifluralin early in 2010.  Hoe said Japanese companies were dropping the price they offered for Vietnamese shrimp or turning to other countries for supplies!

Trifluralin is a widely used herbicide that, in large doses, can cause cancer in animals.  In April 2010, Vietnam banned its use in aquaculture, but it is unclear how well that order is being enforced, and residues can remain in the soil for many months.

So far in 2010, Japan has imported about 40,000 tons of Vietnamese tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon).

The Vietnamese state-run newspaper Lao Dong quoted Ngo Van Nga, director of the Quoc Viet Seafood Processing Co, as saying complete quality control of Vietnamese shrimp was impossible because each container holds shrimp from many different ponds.  “If they decide to check 100 percent of Vietnam’s shrimp, no one knows what will happen,” Nga said.  “When they are rejected, companies lose $10,000 per container on expenses like transport and storage.”

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