HA NOI - So far this year, food poisoning has killed 17 people and hospitalised 2,500 others as the level of substandard food imports, particularly chickens, continues to rise.
Last month alone, the Ministry of Health said 17 cases of food poisoning occurred across the country, killing one person and hospitalising 585 others.
During September, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has asked 12 government offices throughout Viet Nam to check on the hygiene of food imports.
This follows a request from the Viet Nam Breeding Association for better controls on imported livestock and poultry.
The 12 offices are located in Ha Noi, HCM City, the port city of Hai Phong, the central city of Da Nang, the central province of Quang Tri and Tay Ninh in the South.
About 6,500 tonnes of chicken are imported into Viet Nam a month, making up 25 per cent of local chicken supplies.
Experts from Viet Nam Food Administration said food poisoning tended to increase as levels of imported food rose, much of it sub-standard and containing banned preservatives.
They said the management of street-food stalls and markets was not strict enough.
The trade ministry will also check food and bottled water processing and trading in some cities and provinces.