As a chief protein source, fish sauce is added to dishes during cooking process as well as used as a base for a dipping condiment, prepared in many different ways for Vietnamese dishes. It has long been used to identify and characterize Vietnamese foods amongst others.
Fish sauce is the product of a special process in which food safety is always prioritized in quality control to ensure that the end products are well-served the demand and expectation of its customers. Its production is closely supervised and audited in accordance to the rules under the Law of Food Safety.
- The fish sauce processing facilities must be established in the appropriate location, away from residential areas, away from any sources of contamination and do not affect the environmental sanitation of the surrounding area.
- Electrics and clean water must be fully supplied for the operation of the facilities.
- The facilities must convenient traffic.
Warehouse layout and structure
- Manufacturing warehouse must have sufficient space, separating from the outside with fences.
- Buildings must be constructed in accordance with the production process, to ensure hygiene requirements, minimize contamination and facilitate the operation of the facilities and the site cleaning process.
Warehouse structure must meet the requirements as follow:
- Roofs must prevent rainwater and dust falling from above.
- Wall surfaces are used appropriate, easy-to-clean materials.
- Plant platform and anchovy drying grounds are made of appropriate materials, no standing water, no cracks, and drainage ditches.
- The anchovy pool must be established in appropriate location with durable structure, no leakage, convenient to operate and clean.
- Storage and packing area must be built in a clean and airy place, separated from processing area. Ceilings to be light-colored and walls are made of suitable, easy-to-clean materials.
- Saline area must be arranged separately, in a clean, airy, safe and convenient place.
- Anchovy cooking area (if any) must be large, heat-absorbed, thus does not affect other areas.
- The waste container must be sealed, isolated with a separate ventilation and easy to clean and disinfect.
- Changing rooms for labor is the must as specified in 18.104.22.168 of NTR/ 2008 on general condition for food safety in aquatic food business.
- There must be a hygienic area for workers as specified in 22.214.171.124 of NTR/ 2008 on general condition for food safety in aquatic food business.
- An area for washing and hygiene for labors is required.
- The warehouse must fully access to clean water to comply with requirements set by the Ministry of Health.
- The water supply equipment such as pipes, tanks are designed accordingly to ensure no leakage. Those equipment are made by non-toxic, being sealed and easy to clean materials.
- The sewage disposal system must fully discharge all waste water produced daily in the warehouse. The pipes need to be proper slope so there is standing water.
- The waste water must be treated before discharging, so there is no impact on surrounding areas.
- Natural or artificial light are used with right intensity for the safe operation of the warehouse
- Ensure the safety for the light hanging on the storage and packing area
Equipment and tools
- Those directly contact with fish sauce or anchovies must be made of durable, non-toxic materials that unable to affect the quality of fish sauce and withstand the impact of salt. The surface of equipment must be smooth, easy to clean and disinfect.
- The anchovy pool must be made of suitable, non-toxic, durable materials that does not affect the product quality.
- Containers made of glass and plastic are those permitted for food use, and must be rugged structured, easy to clean and disinfect.
Hygiene Safety Conditions
- Ingredients for the production of fish sauce must be clean, no impurities, no possible contamination from handling and transportation.
- Fish used to produce fish sauce must meet the requirements and standards for sea-salted anchovies, in accordance to TCVN 3521-79. Raw material of fish sauce can be frozen or salted.
- Information about fish sauce production must be disclosed and marked in its labels in accordance to authority jurisdiction.
- The quality of fish sauce production must be consistent with disclosed information and its composition must not contain any substances harmful to human health.
- Food additives when used shall be in accordance with regulations prescribed by authorities, and in the list of usable additives for food business.
- Any substances harmful to human health are prohibited in fish sauce production.
Detergent and disinfectant
- Detergents and disinfectants must be consistent with the purpose of use. Only use detergents and disinfectant as prescribed by the Ministry of Health.
- Do not use chemicals kill animals in the area of producing, packing and storing of fish sauce.
- For entire warehouse: The warehouse must have plan to keep its plan clean. It must be staff to clean the location and collect the garbage daily. A specified hygiene requirement is applied for operation, storage and packing areas. The sewage have to clean often, ensuring no left-over waste, no standing water and minimized odor. The warehouse also need to prevent insects and harmful animals from entering the area.
- For equipment and utensils: Ensure the hygiene for all equipment used in the process that contacts to anchovies and fish sauce. To be sure that no contamination is occurred during disinfection. A specific washing area is designed for certain equipment. The clean equipment need to be kept and preserved in a right place and be used for the right steps.
- Personal Hygiene: All labors must be equipped with safety outfit. Technical staff have white coat, white hat, a mask and gloves. Staff must ensure personal hygiene before and after production process. Staff have annual health check.
Packaging, labeling, storage and transport
- The product shall be packed in appropriate primary packaging material that will maintain its integrity during storage and transport. Packaging are stored at a separate, airy, dry, clean and safe location.
- Each container shall be labeled and marked with the information in accordance with Decree 89/2006 / ND-CP dated 30/8/2006.
- Fish sauce must be stored in secure and hygienic conditions. Warehouses must be clean and airy, equipped with racks the put the containers of fish sauce, preventing insect and animal intrusion.
- Vehicles transporting fish sauce must be clean, hygienic, rain and sun covered.
- For those with capacity from 500,000 liters a year or more: Production activities must comply with quality management programs and HACCP food safety provisions in NTR: 2008 / BNNPTNT facility fisheries business - quality management programs and HACCP food safety.
- For those with capacity of less than 500,000 liters a year: Production activities must comply with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), sanitation standard norms (SSOP) and traceability.
- The plants must establish, manage and store documents on the management of food safety in accordance with section 2.9.1 or 2.9.2 of this regulation. Records are kept for at least 2 years.
Specially produced from anchovies salted and left to ferment in the heat for months, 3 Mien fish sauce with its secrets not only adds flavors into housewives’ dishes but also give those women numerous choices to handle and preparing typical Vietnamese foods, in seasoning, marinating to dipping.