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Lao health officials have intensified inspections to ensure hygienic foods served to thousands of delegates and media personnel planning to attend the ASEAN summit and its related summits to be held in Lao capital Vientiane early next month.
Director of the Vientiane Health Department Phonepaseuth Ounaphom said Tuesday that at the end of this month the health officials plan to award food safety certificates to restaurants meeting food safety criteria.
"Those failing to meet the criteria we set will not be given the certificates," Lao state-run online newspaper Vientiane Times reported Tuesday.
Recently, Lao officials met with operators of hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, drinking water and ice factories to discuss and demand them to pay special attention in their operations to meet the hygienic standard.
District health officials are in charge of inspecting food safety in street food vendors, Phonepaseuth said.
The director stated that health officials are increasing their inspection routines adding to their regular inspection, especially in the four main districts in the city center to ensure the foods meet hygienic standards.
In addition, Lao health officials are also intensifying their inspections in local markets to make sure that there is no food or ingredients contaminated with unsafe substances sold.
The Director of the Vientiane Agriculture and Forestry Department Linkham Douangsavanh said his officials have also carried out similar inspections in local markets to prevent contaminated foods from being sold.
"We have paid special attention to the inspections these days," he said, adding that veterinarians are stationed at slaughtering houses to check the hygiene of meats.
In addition, officials in charge of plant and animal quarantine have put greater attention on checking imported foods to prevent unsafe or contaminated foods from entering the country, Linkham said.