Many dried seafood products are inherently considered “specialties” but before being sold, the processing of these items startled the witnesses. Meanwhile, the quality management and hygiene of responsible agencies is still very embarrassing …
Specialties drying pavement, canals
Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province is famous not only for sea but also for fresh and dry seafood. Coming to Nha Trang, besides the selection of fresh seafood products on the spot, dried seafood is the number one choice for travelers to bring as gifts. Because of this, a long time in Nha Trang has formed the largest dry seafood wholesale market in the Central, such as Dam market, Xom Moi market …
And in the last 5 years, hundreds of dried seafood shops in Nha Trang have sprung up like mushrooms, to serve the needs of tourism, mainly domestic tourism. However, there is the fact that the origin and hygiene of many dried seafood here cannot be assured.
One afternoon in mid-May, we were at Hon Ro fishing port area, Nha Trang city – one of the biggest seafood granaries in the South Central. Around this fishing port, there have long been a lot of people working on dry seafood to sell to business owners in Nha Trang and other places.
Walking along the banks of the Quan Truong River – the main river flowing to the seaport where Hon Ro Port is located, the image that caught our eyes was the sidewalks full of exposed seafood, which looked very unsanitary. Types of pit fish, rays, squid, bones and shark (small shark) … exposed on the sidewalk. There are types that are dried on a blister, and there are also types of seafood that are exposed on the tile floor.
Through observation, the types of seafood exposed here turn black; many types have stinked, many flies,
As a bulk buyer brought to Ho Chi Minh City, we approached a granary specializing in making dried seafood at Hon Ro. A hired worker at the barn said that at this time, there were many dried seafood. Because this is a residential area, the land is crowded with people so they take advantage of every place to dry seafood. At the canal through the Hon Ro residential area, although this canal is full of garbage, black water and stinking, it is a place for drying shark meat in the amount of tons every day. Approaching near this place, the smell of fish rises in a strong concentration, very uncomfortable.
Some workers here said that they dried a lot of seafood, but often squid, pitfish, and sandfish … Not far away, right at the processing site of shark at Hon Ro port, tons of fish were piled up, many of them were rotten. Here, a large number of sawed shark are soaked in large buckets of water, the smell is very unpleasant, like the smell of chemicals whitening and deodorizing fish. Of course, most of these fish will be dried.
Most of the dried seafood here is sold to small traders in Dam market, Xom Moi market (Nha Trang), the Central Highlands provinces and Ho Chi Minh City. When going to the stall or dry seafood center, these kinds of dried fish and squid are labeled with the general name “dried seafood specialties”. Coming to the dried seafood kiosks in Dam market, just seeing customers, the vendors here offer to buy squid, dried fish, dried shrimp … as gifts. Here, our seafood is labeled with the name of each store, not the name of the manufacturer.
Even, there are many items such as sea cucumber, anchovy, mackerel, shark shark … just to name the product with the words “Specialties Nha Trang” without the label of the store, expiry date. The traders here said they buy from fishing boats, in addition to buying goods from Hon Ro and many dry seafood processing establishments in Nha Trang and other areas.
Approach some tourists to Nha Trang wishing to buy dried seafood as a gift. They said that it was quite unclear about dried seafood, but they were also quite assured when they went to the wholesale markets for seafood. Ms. Nguyen Thu Ha, a tourist from Hanoi, on a trip to Nha Trang, she stopped by Dam market to buy more than 10kg of dried seafood. When asked, Ms. Ha shared, her experience in choosing quality seafood is dried seafood without color impregnation, whiteness, in …
However, finding out the reality, making white and clear seafood is quite easy. Of course, if you want to do this, you must use bleaching chemicals that are not rare in the market.
In fact, consumers have been concerned about the hygiene and safety of dried seafood for a long time. Even the authorities have been confused. According to an officer of the Department of Food Hygiene and Safety, of the Department of Health of Khanh Hoa Province, the unit only manages the finished food items that have been served on the dining table, while dried seafood items must ask the seafood industry.
However, Mr. Nguyen Trong Chanh, Director of Khanh Hoa Agro-forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (DARD), said: “We only manage the quality of the registered facilities. processing aquatic products, and dried seafood products sold in the market under the management of the industry and trade ”.
Mr. Pham Van Huu, Deputy Director of Khanh Hoa Market Management Department, said that the management of dried seafood products sold in the market is responsible for all three sectors of health, fisheries and industry. However, Market Supervisors mainly check the regulations on labeling, shelf life, origin of goods …
Even the functional departments are not clear who manages. And of course, the quality and hygiene of this dried seafood is forgotten. In the end, the consequences are still consumers.