Last update 7/1/2011 11:40:00 AM (GMT+7)

Inspections find violations in mineral water production

VietNamNet Bridge – Many bottled water enterprises in HCM City have been detected manufacturing substandard water although they have been fined in the past for the same violation.

A police food and safety inspector checks a bottle of mineral water. Cases of substandard mineral water were found across HCM City. (Photo: VNS)

The Dat Nam Co Ltd in District 7's Binh Thuan Ward, which produces Aquasun mineral water, was suspended from operating in May after inspectors from the municipal Department of Health found the water was contaminated with the Pseudomonas aeruginose bacteria which can cause diarrhoea and respiratory infections.

The inspectors also told the company to recall all of its products.

However, at the beginning of this week, the inspectors reported that the company had removed all the seals on electricity circuit breakers and machine systems so that it could continue production.

More than 1,000 bottles of Aquasun mineral water were seized on the spot.

The Ke Ba Company in Binh Tan District's Binh Tri Dong Ward is also reported to be repeat offender.

HCM City Department of Health said the company had sold 18,000 litres out of 20,000 litres of dirty E-Ba bottled water which had been sealed off by the department.

More than 50 of the 500 bottled water enterprises that the department has inspected produce water contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginose bacteria, said deputy chief inspector of the department, Pham Kim Binh.

Hoang Thi Ngoc Ngan, an official of the city's Preventive Medicine Centre, said that many companies only purified well water with ultraviolet rays and then sold it as mineral water.

She added that the simple technology left many poisonous elements in the water, such as sulphur and arsenic that could cause cancer or abortions.

Chief inspector of the HCM City Department of Health, Nguyen Manh Hung, said the department would re-inspect all 130 enterprises that had been suspended in May. The department would also work with the municipal People's Committee to increase fines for violations two-to-threefold.

The present fine of VND10-15 million (US$480-720) for each violation was far too low, said Hung.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News