Fourteen out of 27 food facilities that sell pickled and dried plums in HCM City have been found breaching food safety and hygiene regulations, the Vietnam Food Administration (VFA) announced yesterday.
The violators have used raw materials with dubious origins, failed to ensure hygiene in their warehouses, and used sweeteners or additives contaminated with lead or banned chemicals, VFA said.
Food administration authorities have confiscated 2 tonnes of salted plums and apricots, and 49.5kg of saccharin, as well as destroying a number of pickled and dried plums that fail to meet food safety requirements.
Meanwhile, one day after the Thailand-imported pickled plums named Preserved Fruits was detected as containing cancer-causing chemical, such a product is still rampant in citywide markets.
Besides, Chinese pickled plums also remain flooded on the market, despite recent news reports about their toxic contents.
Thai pickled plums are sold at around VND80,000 – 100,000 (US$4.8) a kilogram, without stamps or labels.
“Small traders in other markets still buy the [contaminated] dried and pickled plums,” said M, who runs a dried fruit booth in a wholesale market.
“I sell around 50 – 70kg of such plums every day.”