Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat asked the Plant Protection Department (PPD) to develop a plan to better screen imported fruit for prohibited preservatives, VnExpress reported Thursday.
The results are expected out next month.
During a government meeting held on food safety and hygiene, Phat said some residents had reported having purchased imported pears and apples at local markets that never rotted.
“The PPD must find out if excessive preservatives were used to keep the fruit fresh for too long, for example, a pear remained fresh for five months and an apple appeared fresh nine months after purchase,” he said.
He said people are very concerned about pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables, including imported produce.
He asked the PPD to draft a circular on the management of plant protection chemicals and submit the plan to the government next month.
The department was also tasked with drafting a project on the supply of clean vegetables, while the Department of Animal Health was tasked with creating a supply chain to provide clean meat to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.