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New food safety law in pipeline: ministry

A meat vendor arranges cuts of meat at a Market in central Phnom Penh last year.
A meat vendor arranges cuts of meat at a Market in central Phnom Penh last year. Kimberley McCosker

New food safety law in pipeline: ministry

With food poisonings on the rise, the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft yesterday unveiled a new draft law aimed ay tightening restrictions on sub-standard or contaminated food.

The law would apply to all levels of the food supply chain – farmers, processers, packagers and vendors, according to Sat Samy, undersecretary of state at the ministry.

He said the Ministry of Commerce is also taking an active role in the drafting of the legislation. Punishments against violators will also increase, though the ministry did not offer specifics, as they have not yet been finalised.

Ly Sovann, spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said the government recorded about 1,000 cases of food poisoning throughout the country last year, while this year, so far, there have been hundreds of cases already. If the trend continued, he said, 2016 would have more cases than last year.

He said the number of poisoning events was increasing largely as a result of improper hygiene when handling food, inadequate cooking or poor refrigeration.

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