Tag Archives: food

Annual WIG Bazaar Announced for November 11

WIG Laos has announced that its annual WIG Bazaar will be held on Saturday, 11 November 2017 at the National University of Laos Faculty of Engineering, Sokpaluang Road, Vientiane from 10am to 5pm. The bazaar is an all-day family-oriented event, and provides an opportunity for new and old acquaintances alike to connect and enjoy a day out in a community setting.

In the preceding days, an estimated 200 stalls are erected under the trees and in the open spaces of the grounds, where local businesses, NGOs and diplomatic missions and embassies lay out their wares. There is food and drink from all over the globe, handicrafts from your favourite shops and social enterprises, examples of aid and development projects from all over Laos.

There are also live stage performances from schools, activity groups and entertainers from all corners of Vientiane.  There is a raffle, with some spectacular prizes donated by shops, hotels and businesses, and a special Children’s Corner offering fun and games for kids, young and old.

The WIG Bazaar 2017 is sponsored by a number of local businesses, including Gold Level: Embassy of Luxembourg and Phu Bia Mining. The Bazaar is also supported by the Faculty of Engineering of the National University of Laos.

To purchase a stall, interested parties can register at Joma Phonthan (Joma 2) on one of the stall sale dates on Friday, 20 October (9-11am); Monday, 23 October (1-3pm); Wednesday, 25 October (9-11am); Friday, 27 October (1-3pm).

WIG is also currently accepting donations of goods for the popular Second Hand Stall. Community members are welcome to donate clothing, books, bric-a-brac, household items, toys and more. Drop off points for donations are Common Grounds Café, Gringo’s Taco Bar, and Panyathip School.

WIG Laos, formerly the Women’s International Group, was founded in 1990 and is a voluntary group, administered and operated by its members on a voluntary basis. The group welcomes men and women of all nationalities to join together in Vientiane for a variety of social, welfare and cultural activities. The money raised from stall sales, WIG activities and donations from the vast majority of funds available for our welfare projects – in Education and Health – for the following year.  Traditionally, these have included subsidizing transport, food and clothing for surgical patients in Vientiane and at provincial outreach clinics, providing materials to build schools, and other educational initiatives.

A First Look: The Largest Lao Food Festival in Laos

Lao Food Festival 2017

The much anticipated 12th Annual Lao Food Festival officially opened at the Chao Anouvong Park in Vientiane Capital today, exhibiting a variety of foods from across the nation.

The aim of the festival is to bring attention to Lao cuisine, and to showcase some of the little-known dishes that are more common in the provinces.

Visitors are able to taste-test a variety of Lao foods, and hungry patrons can dine at the many restaurants that have opened their kitchens to the festival.

This year, the Lao Food Festival boasts 178 booths, the highest number on record. The festival runs for three full days, from 25-27 January 2017 at the Chao Anouvong Park (9am-8pm).

Here’s a first look at the festival:

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Expired Food Products Often Found in Khammuan

Fairs and events organised in Khammuan province often see the sale of not only legitimate products and foods but also expired goods, which are subject to seizure by officials.

The relevant provincial authorities regularly find expired goods at fairs and events, including its annual Phathat Sikhottabong Stupa festival.

A relevant provincial authority official, Mr Phonsavanh Phommany told Vientiane Times on Thursday that the main reason is because traders and buyers don’t care to examine the expiration dates on many goods.

“If they had read it, they would not have bought products which were expired,” he said.

Most expired food products are usually beverages imported from Thailand and Vietnam.

The Phathat Sikhottabong Stupa festival will take place in Thakhek district from January 9-11, so the relevant authorities need to start checking many shops at the festival in order to help consumers avoid buying expired goods.

Many products, handicrafts and foods will be on sale during the three-day festival that will attract thousands of people, including many from other provinces and also foreign visitors.

Provincial authorities held a meeting recently in preparation for the festival to make sure it creates a lasting impression on visitors.

The golden-tipped Sikhottabong Stupa is 29 m high. It is one of Laos’ most sacred sites and is located 6km south of the town of Thakaek on the banks of the Mekong.

It was originally built by the Sikhottabong Empire to keep relics of the Lord Buddha around the 6th century, at the same time as the That Ing Hang Stupa in Savannakhet province and That Phanom in Thailand.

The province has about 18 hotels, four resorts and more than 69 guesthouses.

Khammuan province has 198 officially designated tourist sites; 139 of them are scenic, 30 are of cultural interest, and 29 are of historical interest.

More sites to visit are the caves, namely Tha Falang, Kong Lor cave, Xebangfai cave, Tham Heup cave, Nam Don Resurgence (Khoun Nam Don), Tham Phi Seua cave (Tiger Spirit cave/Butterfly cave), Tham Pha Chan cave (Sandalwood Buddha cave), Tham Pha Nya Inn cave, Tham Nang Aen cave (Sitting and Flirting cave), Xieng Liab cave, and Buddha cave.

Also of interest are the Kamphaeng Yark (The Giant Wall) and the old part of Thakhaek town.

Source: Vientiane Times

Ministry Struggles to Ensure Quality Food, Drugs

Shortages of some drugs, their inappropriate use by doctors, unregulated circulation of pharmaceutical products, and chemically contaminated food are just some of the issues the Ministry of Health is seeking to address.

Deputy Minister of Health Mr Khamphone Phoutthavong noted the challenges in his opening remarks at a meeting on food and drugs held yesterday to review the sector’s achievements over the past five years and discuss future plans.

Food and drug experts from around the country and representatives from the ministries of Science and Technology, and Agriculture and Forestry are attending the three day meeting, which continues tomorrow.

Mr Khamphone highlighted the implementation of the health development policy and strategy over the past five years, saying several laws and regulations had been enacted and amended.

Other achievements included the quality guarantee system for food and drugs both before and post distribution, development of good laboratory practices, gaining ISO17025 accreditation, joint supply of drugs and medical equipment, centralised logistics, development of natural medicinal resources, the promotion and parallel use of modern and traditional medicine, and good manufacturing production (GMP) certification.

The deputy minister outlined the challenges the sector has to overcome in food and drug management. These included the s hortage of basic drugs at dispensaries and district hospitals, the inappropriate use of drugs or use of brand name drugs over cheaper generics, and the dispensing of antibiotics and stimulants by pharmacies without prescription.

According to the deputy minister, around 30 percent of drugs in distribution by private pharmacies were not registered with the government, medicine prices varied among hospitals, there was weak inspection of food and drugs at border checkpoints, and half of drinking water factories’ products were not registered.

Mr Khamphone also mentioned the shortage of personnel, technical facilities and coordination mechanisms as other challenges.

“If we don’t hurry up in addressing these it could affect consumers’ health and safety and in the future we could lose the advantage in joining the ASEAN Economic Community,” he said.

Speaking at the meeting, the ministry’s Food and Drugs Department Director General Dr Somthavy Changvisommith stressed that the government’s aim was to increase people’s ability to access quality food and drugs.

In her remarks at the meeting, World Health Organisation Health System Coordinator in Laos, Ms Monica Fong, noted that drugs were key elements in people’s daily lives, saying everyone expected that food and drugs should be of the same quality and would protect them against health hazards, including hazards arising from tainted food and substandard drugs.

“This is very important these days as we see increasing cases of antimicrobial resistance and the emergence of superbugs,” she added.

More than 1,700 drugs are registered with the department, and three pharmaceutical factories – Pharmaceutical Factory No. 3, CBF Pharmaceutical Factory, and Kodufa – were granted GMP certificates.

Around 50 percent of the drugs in circulation in Laos are manufactured locally and estimated to be worth US$11.7 million.

 

Source: Vientiane Times

Law Amendments to Enhance Livestock Industry, Food Hygiene

Amendments to the Law on Animal Husbandry and Veterinary are set to give a significant boost to livestock businesses, ensure environmentally friendly operations and provide hygienic food for consumers.

The law drafting committee told the National Assembly last week that the amendments are in line with the Party and government’s policies and hygienic standards of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Trade Organisation.

The changes will promote animal husbandry in Laos in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner to ensure food security towards production on a commercial basis, while ensuring safety for consumers.

The amendments highlight policies to facilitate the upgrade of currently nature-based animal husbandry into a modern animal husbandry industry.

The policies include the promotion of scientific research and experiments concerning animal husbandry knowhow, breeders, animal feed, and economic returns.

The relevant sectors are required to regulate breeders by registering their intellectual property rights, compiling information, and so on.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is mandated to develop technical standards and train professional researchers to carry out animal feed analysis to facilitate growth of the animal husbandry industry.

The state promotes investment in the livestock industry, while ensuring businesses will not adversely affect the environment or nearby communities.

The amendments prohibit farmers from feeding their livestock with growth-enhancing substances that also have side effects on human health. All production chain processes must follow safety guidelines, including those on chemical use.

The amendments also define measures to prevent animal disease outbreaks by requiring people who suspect the onset of any disease to inform authorities in charge of animal husbandry and veterinary affairs within 24 hours. Once a suspected disease is confirmed, the authorities are required to inform international organisations when it is deemed necessary. If the disease is found to have affected humans, the authorities are required to inform the health authorities within 24 hours.

Once informed of a potential disease, the authorities in charge of animal husbandry and veterinary affairs must take immediate action through preventive and response measures against any occurring disease.

These include identifying control zones, spraying chemicals to kill the suspected pathogen or disease, and prohibiting the movement of livestock.

A compensation policy is also outlined for farmers whose livestock are killed as part of response measures to prevent the disease from spreading.

The draft amendments to the law also require the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to put in place the necessary technologies, facilities and personnel capable of diagnosing animal diseases.

The amendments also identify stricter measures to inspect animal products before they are imported into Laos so as to prevent products containing a pathogen as well as contaminated food from entering Laos.

Stricter inspection is also required to be carried out in slaughterhouses before meat is sent to markets. The amendments also define the considerate treatment of animals.

Parties found to be violating this amended law will be penalised under measures outlined in the law and other relevant regulations and laws.

Source: Vientiane Times

Hotels, Restaurants Get Safe Food Accreditation

Several hotels, restaurants and bottling plants in Vientiane were recently certified by the Ministry of Health, having met health and safety standards for food preparation.

Officials Vow Food Safety for Summits’ Guests

Health officials have intensified inspections to ensure hygienic foods are served to thousands of delegates and media personnel planning to attend the ASEAN Summit and its related summits to be held in Vientiane early next month.

Food Prices Stable in Vientiane

Prices of meat, fish and vegetables were found to be consistent and stable in local markets in Vientiane, Laophattana newspaper reported yesterday.