Food Safety and Hygiene in Vietnam

by Trang Nguyen

When you have a chance to visit Vietnam, you will be surprised by seeing people eating on the sidewalk. Street restaurants are really common in Vietnam. They are similar to fast food restaurants over here with the quote: Fast –Cheap- Delicious. However, to compete with those proper restaurants, street restaurants have to find something different to attract customers. This article will help you know more about what way do they use to make food to follow up the above quote?Street Restaurants

In student restaurants, which are restaurants built specifically for targeting poorer students who are dependent on their family, owners usually buy bad quality food with a cheap price to cook. For example, in a city in North Vietnam, an owner of the student restaurants bought a whole body of a pig with only 2,000 Vietnam Dong, approximately converted to 11 cents. With whole pork, the owner can cook a lot of different dished to serve the customers. Also, some owners do not even throw the leftover away; they keep it and re-cook it with a lot of spices and MSG to drown the spoiled smell. That is definitely horrible. The restaurant not only buys bad quality food with cheap price but also uses a lot of different unhealthy methods to be able to continue to seel it.

Can you believe that some restaurants even use a chemical compound to produce the food in order to maintain the food longer and make the food tough and crispy? That unacceptable food maintenance was the headline on every newspaper from 1 year ago until now. And the chemical compound is borax, that is used primarily in biochemical and chemical laboratories to make buffers. Especially, Vietnamese companies use Borax to maintain the condition of chả, grilled chopped meat.

Grilled Chopped Meat
The “smart” idea of most of owners’ street restaurants is to take advantage of the traditional food and make it cheaper and better, for example fish sauce. A few months ago, the Department of Health’s Inspectorate found the chemical compound-urea in fish sauce. “Urea is a chemical toxic to humans. According to experts, urea in fish-sauce products may come from material fish since urea is often used to keep fish fresh or producers use urea to make the protein content in fish sauce higher”.
Fish Sauce
There are still a lot of critical problems about food safety and hygiene in Viet Nam. It appears on the news every day. In conclusion, those food maintenances methods that I pointed out are unacceptable and need to be removed from society. The Health Service in Vietnam needs to plan substantial methods to control and get rid of all of the inhumanity and unsafe food methods that are threatening 84 million people’s health.


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