South Korea to inspect nitrofuran in Vietnamese shrimp in June

Published on
May 17, 2018

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety of South Korea will dispatch a delegation to Vietnam next month to inspect how nitrofuran in Vietnamese shrimp is controlled before shipping to South Korea, National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (Nafiqad) said in a release.

The visit will be made after the Korean authorities detected a number of nitrofuran-contaminated shrimp cargos imported to South Korea from companies in Vietnam.

The South Korea’s ministry did not respond to a query on Tuesday, 15 May.

The Korean ministry’s Imported Food Inspection Management Division in April sent two separate letters to Nafiqad to express concerns and demand explanations from Vietnamese authorities after nitrofuran metabolites were found in four whiteleg shrimp cargos this year, one in January and three others in April, from Vietnam.

“The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety of the Republic of Korea is seriously thinking about this matter of the nitrofuran which were found in the Vietnamese Whiteleg shrimp continuously,” the Korean division said in one letter.

South Korea last year decided to inspect all whiteleg shrimp cargoes from Vietnam to ensure food safety after detecting nitrofuran in the whiteleg shrimp imported from Vietnam in 2016, according to the Korean division.

The four Vietnamese exporters that had their nitrofuran-contaminated whiteleg shrimp cargoes detected this year included: ATP Trading and Service Center Company; Frozen Seafoods Factory 32 under Thuan Phuoc Seafoods and Trading Corp.; Havico 2 Factory under Hai Viet Joint Stock Company; and Nam Long Factory under Cadovimex Seafood Vietnam. The companies were directed to immediately investigate causes, carry out measures to address the issues and report the results to Nafiqad as soon as possible.

Vietnam exported shrimp worth nearly USD 382 million (EUR 320 million) to South Korea in 2017, up 34 percent from 2016, with whiteleg shrimp value accounting for 83 percent of Vietnam’s total shrimp export value to South Korea in the year, data from Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) showed.

Photo courtesy of VASEP

Reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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