World Bank report on Vietnam’s pork safety sparks concern, doubt


Updated : 04/03/2017 16:28 GMT + 7

Consumers are seen at a pork stall at a small market in Ho Chi Minh City.
A recent World Bank report claiming that up to 40 percent of pork in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is potentially contaminated with the salmonella bacteria has raised concern and doubt as to whether the ratio is too high compared with Vietnam’s own statistics.

The World Bank data may not truly reflect the meat safety situation in those cities, according to local insiders.

The report, released on March 27, points out several alarming issues in Vietnam’s food safety risk management, such as the fact that 80 percent of pork is sold in wet markets, and 76 percent of meat is slaughtered in small and dirty facilities.

The World Bank also underlined that the most prevalent microbiological hazard in pork in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is salmonella, with the bacteria found in 30 percent of the pork samples taken at slaughterhouses, and 40 percent of the pork found on sale at local markets.

Salmonella is a group of bacteria that cause typhoid fever, food poisoning, gastroenteritis, enteric fever and other illnesses, with people becoming infected mostly through contaminated water or foods, especially meat, poultry and eggs.

During the 2014-15 period, there were almost 370 outbreaks of food poisoning in Vietnam involving over 10,000 incidences resulting in the deaths of 66 people, with pathogen the biggest cause, accounting for 41 percent of the cases, according to the World Bank report.

Data difference

While the report has renewed concerns over Vietnam’s food safety, some industry insiders have taken the World Bank statistics with a pinch of salt, as the 30-40 percent infection rate is far higher than the 10-20 percent rate announced by the Vietnamese Animal Health Department.

The department claimed different sample taking processes will produce different results, as they rely on a number of factors, including how many and when the samples are collected.

Huynh Thi Kim Cuc, deputy head of Ho Chi Minh City’s food safety management board, told Thanh Nien newspaper she had yet to read the World Bank report.

The official said she could only comment on whether the World Bank data is accurate or not if she knows how, when and how many samples were taken.

Cuc said salmonella infection can easily take place during the slaughtering and transporting of meat, and given the humid weather of Ho Chi Minh City, “it is no surprise that the infection rate is so high as the World Bank may have taken the pork samples later in the afternoon.”

Assoc. Prof. and Doctor Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, a former lecturer at Nong Nam University, formerly the Ho Chi Minh City University of Agriculture and Forestry, also said the sample taking method greatly affects the result, so it is not incomprehensible that the Vietnamese animal health department and World Bank would have different data.

Van Duc Muoi, CEO of Vissan, Vietnam’s leading meat processor, showed his support for the World Bank report, particularly the assertion that pork safety is not ensured as the meat is mostly produced and sold at small, dirty slaughterhouses and wet markets.

“As for the salmonella infection ratio, an agency should conduct an independent study to give consumers the final answer,” he told Thanh Nien.

This entry was posted in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Y tế - Health care and tagged , , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

One thought on “World Bank report on Vietnam’s pork safety sparks concern, doubt

  1. World Bank rất có lý vì thịt heo thường được mổ ở các lò nhỏ, thiếu vệ sinh, và ban ở chợ trời.

    Tuy nhiên,thịt heo thường được nấu chín trước khi ăn, samonella hay vi khuẩn nào cũng bị trừ tiệt.

    Ngoại trừ, nem. Nếu bà con bắn đầu nghiên cứu làm nem bằng thịt heo chín thì có lẽ an toàn hơn.

    Tiết canh. Không biết bà con co ăn tiết canh heo không. Dù là tiết canh gì thì cũng nên ngưng ăn,

    Số lượt thích

Trả lời

Mời bạn điền thông tin vào ô dưới đây hoặc kích vào một biểu tượng để đăng nhập: Logo

Bạn đang bình luận bằng tài khoản Đăng xuất / Thay đổi )

Twitter picture

Bạn đang bình luận bằng tài khoản Twitter Đăng xuất / Thay đổi )

Facebook photo

Bạn đang bình luận bằng tài khoản Facebook Đăng xuất / Thay đổi )

Google+ photo

Bạn đang bình luận bằng tài khoản Google+ Đăng xuất / Thay đổi )

Connecting to %s