Quarter of Saigon meat samples tainted with antibiotic residue: govt

By Le Phuong   May 31, 2016 | 07:20 pm GMT+7
Quarter of Saigon meat samples tainted with antibiotic residue: govt
Photo by VnExpress/Tue Minh

The city’s Department of Health announced that from 2013 to 2015, over 27 percent of meat sold in its markets contained antibiotic residue.

Doctor Nguyen Huu Hung, deputy director of the department, said that the levels of antibiotics contained in meat samples are very high. In 2014, only 17.8 percent of samples taken were found to contain antibiotics, but the figure soared to 39.6 percent last year.

He added that in 2015, 5.8 percent of pig farms were guilty of using salbutamol, a banned substance used to reduce fat in pigs. In addition, 1.2 percent of shrimp products had excess levels of antibiotics and chemicals.

Hung said that the city is able to control the origin of 80 percent of meat and vegetables but the remaining 20 percent cannot be traced due to the huge number of markets in the city that are not managed by authorities.

Nguyen Thi Nha Truc from the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said that the department is working with neighboring provinces to guarantee the origin and quality of food before it reaches customers’ tables. However, this could prove difficult due to the high number of smallholdings and lack of food safety awareness among consumers.