Researchers analyzed various food poisoning incidents that occurred in Vietnam over a two-year period.
This study describes food and drink poisoning in Vietnam from March 2020 to August 2022. Seven popular Vietnamese online newspapers were searched using the term “food poisoning”.
In 184 articles reporting food poisoning, 3,711 people became ill. According to a study published in Case Studies in Chemical and Environmental Engineering, a variety of food cases have been reported in all provinces in Vietnam.
Scientists found that 14.6 percent of poisoning cases were caused by eating toads and their internal organs.
Insects such as cicadas, insects, crickets, and Spanish flies accounted for almost a quarter of food poisoning incidents of animal origin.
Mushrooms and alcohol problems
Researchers said patients often use wild vegetables, fruits and mushrooms without ensuring their safety. Of the 42 articles on poisoning caused by this type of food, 14 were about ingestion of wild vegetables and poisonous leaves. This was followed by a story about an incident caused by eating wild poisonous mushrooms.
According to researchers, Vietnam has a high level of biodiversity.
“Therefore, Vietnam’s vegetation is very diverse, and many of them contain toxic substances. Moreover, people’s knowledge and awareness are still limited. They are unable to identify inedible plants and fungi. do not have sufficient knowledge to do so,” the report states.
There were 41 articles that mentioned alcohol. Most of the victims ingested large amounts of industrial alcohol with high methanol content, resulting in acute poisoning. Some people were poisoned when drinking alcohol mixed with other ingredients. In one incident in Batori district, Ben Tre province, nine people fell ill and four died from severe alcohol poisoning.
For the remaining food poisoning incidents, the main cause was unsanitary processing and preparation, which contaminated the food with risk factors such as Clostridium botulinum.
Nine people fell ill in an unidentified poisoning incident in Hung Yen province. The patients complained of abdominal pain, vomiting, convulsions, and foaming at the mouth after eating a lunch of pork, pork rolls, fried eggs, and celery with their families. Five people died.
raise awareness of problem
The number of foodborne illness incidents varied over time, but some states recorded no cases during the study period.
Most incidents were reported in 2020, specifically in May, June, July, and September. Da Nang city in the central region reported the highest number of infections. Most of it was due to alcohol, vegetarian patties and snails.
Every year, the number of food poisoning victims was lowest in the first quarter and highest in the third quarter. The third quarter of the year is the rainy season and the climate is hot and humid. Research shows this is an ideal environment for microbes.
The researchers said, “A list of food poisoning incidents and an explanation of food poisoning situations are needed to raise awareness of this problem among Vietnamese consumers.”
“To prevent food poisoning, Vietnam has introduced policies to protect patrons, such as penalizing places that serve dirty food and publishing information on ensuring food hygiene and safety. However, there are still loopholes in these regulations, leading to a lack of food safety and hygiene.”
Researchers said consumers need to be educated about food recalls and the proper handling, storage and preparation processes for food. You should wash your hands before cooking or eating. People should not try exotic foods, but should buy food from definite origins.
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