Ice is present at all restaurants and coffee shops in Vietnam but it has not been kept in hygienic conditions and the food safety agency in Ho Chi Minh City has issued documents to remind traders to pay attention to its quality.
The Ho Chi Minh City Food Safety Unit has warned that it will launch a campaign to check the quality and hygienic use of ice from August 15 forward.
The unit has also said that it will name those breaching hygiene regulations in the media.
Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper journalists made a brief survey at some restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City on August 16 and realized that violations were rampant.
In the busy dining places, ice was kept in open boxes and picked up by staff with bare hands. Especially, at one restaurant, an ice box was put on the doorstep of the restroom.
Many restaurant owners said they have not heard of the inspection carried out of ice by local authorities.
Doctor Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai, vice head of the Ho Chi Minh City Food Safety Unit, said the city has required around 57,000 local restaurants to buy qualified ice.
According to the documents issued by the unit, qualified ice must be kept in closed bags to ensure hygienic conditions.
However, it is quite different from the reality because ice is produced and transported open without any bag and label now.