Students of N’Thol Hạ Primary School in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong are treated for food poisoning at the Duc Trong Medical Centre on May 29. (Photo: VNA)
The Vietnam Food Administration said there were 48 instances of food poisoning this year by the end of May, in which 22 people died.
This represented an increase of 11 in the number of cases over last year.
The number of people killed due to food poisoning this year is higher than the average rate for 2015-20.
According to analyses of 1,604 cases of food poisoning in 2010-20, most were caused by contamination by micro-organisms.
The other causes were toxins in mushroom and forest vegetables, histamine in fishes and others.
The number of people poisoned by eating mushroom accounted for two thirds of all cases in the northern region.
This year, three cases were caused by eating toads while there were 44 in 2010-19.
One case in which two people died was caused by consumption of globefish.
There has been only one case of food poisoning at companies in industrial parks, three fewer than the figure of the same period last year. Of course, most companies remained closed for a long period due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
But the administration said failure to ensure food safety in kitchens in industrial parks and export processing zones nationwide remains a threat.
The south-eastern province of Dong Nai has 32 industrial parks, where meals are provided to workers by companies employing cooks, hiring food suppliers to come and cook in their canteens or contracting food suppliers to cook elsewhere and deliver the food.
In 2016-20, of the 26 food poisoning outbreaks, exactly half occurred at company canteens.
The administration plans to strengthen communication to improve public awareness of food poisoning caused by natural toxins in mushroom and animals.
There have been no instances of food poisoning at schools in HCM City this year, according to the city Food Safety Management Board. Schools were open until the Lunar New Year in late January and then closed due to the pandemic until finally reopening recently.
There are 2,314 schools providing meals to their students daily.
There were 22 outbreaks in 2015-19.
The board said it works together with the Department of Education and Training to ensure food safety at schools.
School kitchens and food suppliers are encouraged to use standard foods supplied by enterprises that are part of the city’s safety food supply chain, it said.
They have also stepped up inspections to ensure food supplied to schools is safe and has clear origins, it said.VNA