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Granting food safety certificates for food and beverage services

One of the required licenses for businesses providing food services, food processing, food production… is a food safety certificate. Although the process and procedures for applying for a food safety certificate are not difficult, the establishment needs to prepare enough documents as well as meet the conditions at the facility with the authority to issue the certificate in the difficulties many businesses encounter.

Legal basis

  • Law on Food Safety 2010, as amended and supplemented in 2018.
  • Decree 15/2018/ND-CP details a number of articles of the Law on Food Safety, as amended and supplemented by Decree 155/2018/ND-CP and Decree 85/2019/ND-CP.

Authority for granting food safety certificates for food and beverage services

In Article 35 of the Law on Food Safety 2010, there are 3 agencies with the authority to license and revoke food safety certificates in Vietnam, including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Industry.

For the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Article 6 of Circular No. 43/2018/TT-BCT (amended and supplemented by Circular No. 13/2020/TT-BCT), authority to issue food safety certificates belongs to:

  • Ministry of Industry and Trade.
  • Industrial and commercial facilities.
  • Local competent authority on the basis of assignment by the Provincial People’s Committee according to the proposal of the Department of Industry and Trade.

Therefore, the Ministry of Industry and Trade authorizes and decentralizes authority to lower-level agencies. Agencies that directly issue licenses to business units include:

  • Department of Science and Technology, Department of Domestic Market
  • Functional departments at the Department of Industry and Trade in provinces/cities across the country.

For the Ministry of Health, at local units, the Ministry will authorize lower-level agencies to issue licenses, including:

  • Food Safety Department: Provides certificates for business units in the fields of functional foods, food processing aids, and food containers.
  • Food Safety Sub-department: Has the authority to support, manage, and license bottled water businesses, small establishments producing functional foods, and food and beverage services such as cafes. , collective kitchen, hotel restaurant.

For the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry will provide Certificates for business establishments in the following industries:

  • Primary production of agricultural, forestry, aquatic products, and salt includes The process of growing, raising, harvesting, fishing, and exploiting agricultural, forestry, and aquatic products; salt production.
  • Production, collection, slaughter, preliminary processing, processing, preservation, transportation, export, import, and trading of cereals, meat, and meat products, aquatic products and aquatic products, vegetables, tubers, fruits, and vegetable products, tubers, fruits, eggs and egg products, raw fresh milk, honey, and honey products, genetically modified foods, salt, and agricultural products other as prescribed by the Government.

Conditions for granting food safety certificates for food and beverage services

Conditions for business lines

Business establishments must register for the restaurant and food service business.

General conditions for food production and trading establishments

  • Infrastructure:
  • Ensure that no insects and harmful animals enter the production and storage areas of food and food ingredients; Do not use chemicals to kill rats, insects, and harmful animals in production areas and storage of food and food ingredients;
  • Make mesh compartments or closed cabinets for dishes and shelves for dishes, glasses, cups, bowls, etc.
  • Equip additional boots, aprons, masks, and gloves for food processing staff.
  • Tools for preparing and processing fresh and main meat such as cutting boards and knives need to be identified and kept separate and hung in a fixed area (a sign is required).
  • Have adequate equipment to handle raw materials, process, package, preserve, and transport different types of food; Have enough equipment, tools, washing and disinfecting facilities, antiseptic water, equipment to prevent and control insects and harmful animals, equipment and tools in direct contact with food that are easy to clean, Does not release toxic substances and does not pollute food.
  • The food production process is arranged according to a one-way principle from input materials to final products.
  • Walls, ceilings, and floors in production, business, and product warehouse areas are waterproof, cracked, and moldy;
  • Do not display and sell chemicals used for other purposes in establishments trading in additives and food processing aids.
  • Do not display and sell chemicals used for other purposes in establishments trading in additives and food processing aids.
  • Carry out three-step verification and save food samples according to the instructions of the Ministry of Health.
  • Food preservation:
  • There must be a freezer and refrigerator to preserve food depending on the type of product you store in hygienic food bags, food containers to ensure food safety, and must clearly state the date of manufacture, opened date, and signed expiration date (with sealed plastic wrap).
  • Make a list of the goods imported, opened, and expire for each item and sign the name of the person directly receiving and opening the goods…
  • People in direct contact with food:
  • People directly involved in production and business must be trained in food safety knowledge and certified by the facility owner and not suffer from cholera, dysentery, typhoid, hepatitis A, E, infectious dermatitis, or tuberculosis. pneumonia, and acute diarrhea while producing and trading food. It is necessary to carry out health checks for all people who directly carry out preliminary processing, processing, and contact with food at district-level hospitals or higher.

Procedures for granting food safety certificates for food and beverage services

Step 1: Review documents

  • Within 05 working days from receipt of the complete dossier, the dossier-receiving agency must review the validity of the dossier and notify the facility in writing if the dossier is invalid;
  • If more than 60 days from the date of receipt of notice of invalid dossier, if the facility does not respond or supplement or complete the dossier as requested, the receiving agency will destroy the dossier.

The application for a Certificate of eligibility for food safety is packaged in 01 set including the following documents:

  • Application for issuance of Certificate of establishment meeting food safety conditions according to the Form issued with this Decree.
  • Enterprise registration certificate with registration of food service business (copy certified by the establishment).
  • A description of facilities, equipment, and tools to ensure food safety conditions, including:
  • Drawing of the facility’s floor plan;
  • Flow chart of processing, preserving, transporting, and selling food and beverages;
  • List of facilities, equipment, and tools of the facility.
  • Certificate of food safety knowledge of the establishment owner and person directly processing and providing food services (copy certified by the establishment).
  • List of health examination results of establishment owners and people directly processing and providing food services.
  • List of stool culture results for cholera, bacillary dysentery, and typhoid bacteria of people directly processing and providing food services in areas with circulating diarrhea epidemics as announced by the Ministry of Health.

Step 2 (Facility appraisal): Receive the facility appraisal team within 15 working days from the date of appraisal of valid documents

  • Within 15 working days from the date of inspection results for complete and valid documents, the competent authority will organize an on-site appraisal at the facility. In case a superior agency authorizes a lower agency, there must be a written authorization.
  • The on-site appraisal team at the facility is established by the competent agency issuing the Certificate or the agency authorized to appraise and issue a decision. The appraisal team has a number of 03 to 05 members, of which at least 2/3 of the members do professional or management work on food safety.

Step 3: Facility receives results

  • The appraisal results must clearly state “Pass”/ “Fail” or “Waiting for completion” in the Minutes of appraisal of food safety conditions for food production facilities or Minutes of appraisal of food safety conditions. products for food businesses;
  • For general food businesses, the facility is granted a Certificate when the business conditions of at least one product group are rated “Satisfactory”. Product groups that meet the prescribed requirements will be recorded in the Certificate of Establishment meeting food safety conditions;
  • In case of “Failed” or “Waiting for completion”, the reason must be clearly stated in the appraisal record. In the case of “Waiting for completion”, the maximum time limit for remedy is 60 (sixty) days. After remediation as requested by the Appraisal Team, the facility must submit a report on remediation results to the competent authority for re-evaluation. The maximum re-evaluation time limit is 15 (fifteen) working days from the date the competent authority receives the remediation report;
  • If the re-evaluation result is still “Failed”, the competent authority shall notify in writing the local management agency for supervision and request that the facility not operate until a Certificate is issued ;
  • Within 07 (seven) working days from the date the actual appraisal result at the facility is “Pass”, the competent agency issues a Certificate to the facility.

Note: The food safety certificate is valid for 3 years.

Customers who need advice on food safety certificate issuance services, please contact Viet An Law Firm for the best support.

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