According to Vietnam's amended Penal Code which took effect on Jan. 1, the slightest penalty for filthy food producers or traders is a fine of 50-200 million Vietnamese dong (2,200-8,800 U.S. dollars) or a jail term of 1-5 years, and the heaviest one is a jail term of 12-20 years, daily newspaper Tien Phong (Pioneer) reported.

The heaviest penalty is applied to serious food poisoning cases which sicken over 200 people or kill at least three people, or use large volumes of banned substances in foodstuffs.

Vietnam witnessed 111 food poisoning cases in 2017, which sickened 3,352 people and killed 22, said the country's Preventive Health Department.

It saw 129 food poisoning cases that affected 4,127 people and claimed 12 lives in 2016.

Xinhua Agency - January 2, 2018