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Inspections in restaurants in 2016: Third of operators still make unacceptable mistakes

01/06/2017
 

In 2016 the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority (CAFIA) carried out no less than 10 thousand inspections at the premises of public catering, i.e. also in restaurants, beerhouses, wineshops, bars, confectionary shops, and also in petrol stations. Almost every third of these inspections revealed violation of legislation and many of operators still fail to comply with elementary obligations related to hygiene and food safety. The inspectors therefore closed 84 premises of public catering already in the course of the inspection.

CAFIA carries out around 45 thousand of inspections every year, out of which almost 10 thousand in the area of public catering. A half of the closed premises comprise public catering premises which makes it the most problematic area falling under CAFIA responsibilities.

As regards the risk to consumers' health, violation of hygiene regulations is the most serious deficiency. In 2016 CAFIA carried out 6,228 inspections focused on keeping the food hygiene regulation and failures to keep the obligations were detected in 2,096 cases (33.7%). It is thus the most frequent violation in the field of public catering. For example long-term neglected cleaning of the premises, risky technical condition of the equipment as well as areas of the premises, missing warm water supply, failure to dispose waste are the deficiencies concerned.

Misleading of consumers and adulteration belong to frequently detected violations. Within a targeted inspection activity in 2016, the inspectors found out provision of misleading information in the offer of meals in 27% of cases. Misleading by name “cheese” and “cream” while substitutions were used, misuse of protected designation of origin, e.g. „Parmigiano-Reggiano”, “Grana Padano”, etc. were the typical cases of violation as well as provision of misleading information on the use of ham in the meal, misleadingly declared alcohol strength of beer, misuse of the name “chocolate” in mixtures with lower content of cocoa powder in particular in vending machines, etc.

Slight improvement compared to the previous year could be stated as regards provisions of information on allergenic substances to consumers. Out of 2,503 inspections focused on this obligation, inspectors detected violation in 305 cases (12.2%). In the previous year, almost every fifth inspected premises made a mistake. Failure to provide consumers with the information, unclear or misleading information, labelling of allergens by means of numeric codes without further explanation were the most frequent violations. In some cases, CAFIA inspections revealed non-declared presence of an ingredient containing gluten in high amount with possible serious health effects on consumers with gluten intolerance (e.g. detection of gluten in a meal in concentration over 8,000 mg/kg).

With regard to the existing unsatisfactory situation when many operators by their conduct threat consumers' health and use misleading practices, CAFIA will carry on inspections in the area of public catering with the same intensity also in 2017.

CAFIA has been authorized by the law to carry out inspections at public catering premises since 1st January 2015. The Authority further carries out inspections of, inter alia, sale of foodstuffs in retail and wholesale, during transport and production of foodstuffs of non-animal origin.

 

Article by: Mgr. Pavel Kopřiva – CAFIA Spokesperson, phone.: +420 542 426 633 

6th January 2017