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Officials Start Testing Eggs

by 5m Editor
30 October 2008, at 11:08am

VIET NAM - Following the finding on melamine in eggs in China, Vietnamese officials have started to test for the chemical in eggs available locally. Egg consumption in the capital is reported to have dropped 10 per cent since the news from China broke.

Health agencies and businesses have been mobilized to test eggs for melamine after the chemical was detected last Saturday in eggs imported from China to Hong Kong, according to an official source.

Teams of officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Trade and Industry will cull egg and animal feed samples at poultry breeding farms in Hanoi for tests, said Nguyen Cong Khan, head of the Health Ministry’s Food Safety and Hygiene Office.

The MARD team will cooperate with the office to test eggs in northern Lang Son Province and those from local farms, Nguyen Nhu Tiep, a food quality control official from the ministry, said.

In Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), the local office of the Animal Health Bureau also started testing eggs in the city for melamine on 29 October, bureau head Bui Quang Anh said.

After a Chinese dried egg powder brand was found by the World Health Organization to be contaminated, Khan said the food safety office is rushing to investigate whether all dried egg powder products have been certified as safe for consumption.

Meanwhile, egg distributors countrywide are striving to prove that their products are safe.

Pham Thi Huan, director of Ba Huan Company in HCMC, said egg consumption in the city has dropped by 10 percent though prices remain unchanged.

The company, which sells 50 percent of its eggs to the city's supermarkets, has sent egg samples for testing as ordered by the city's Animal Health Office and Health Department, Ms Huan said, adding that the results will be announced in several days.

"I believe our products are not tainted with melamine because the whole process from farming to consumption is localized and monitored carefully," she said.

A representative from CP Vietnam has also guaranteed the safety of its eggs, promising to have the results of tests released soon.

Truong Thi Kim Chau, deputy head of HCMC Animal Health Office, said no tests so at poultry farms have revealed any melamine contamination.

"Consumers shouldn't worry about buying eggs from well-known supermarkets and retailers," Chau said.

Ba Huan, CP Vietnam and Vinh Thanh Dat are three prominent suppliers of eggs to Big C and Co.opMart supermarkets and they are regularly required by the chains to ascertain the quality and safety of their products.

5m Editor