CAFIA Annual Report for 200203/12/2003
- Contents and Introduction
- 2. Organisational Structure and Its Changes
- 3. Inspections
- 3.2 Overall Surveys of Results of Inspections
- 3.3 Results of Control of Microbiological Requirements
- 3.4 Results of Control of Contaminants
- 3.5 Food Labelling and Quality Controls
- 3.6 Thematic and Extraordinary Inspections
- 3.7 Inspections in Production Premises
- 3.8 Inspections in the Trade Network
- 3.9 Suggestions
- 3.10 Sanctions
- 4. Laboratory Activities
- 5. Certification
- 6. Information and Communication System
- 7. Personnel Training
- 8. Legislative Activities
- 9. Cooperation with other authorities and Institutions
- 10. International Relations
- 11. Communication with the public
- 12. Conclusion
- 13. Abbreviations and Explanations
3.1 Priorities of Inspections Performed in 2002
The inspections of food and tobacco products that the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority carried out in 2002 had two basic aims in view:
- protection of consumer health and economic interests,
- protection of economic interests of the state and honest businessmen.
The priorities of inspections performed in 2002, taking account of the received suggestions for inspections, ensued from the above aspects.
The consumer protection formed the primary objective of monitoring of the microbiological requirements and requirements for contaminants in foods, and also of all inspections focusing on the prevention from foodborne infectious disease (e.g. inspection of food raw materials, production conditions, food storage and conditions of sales, etc.).
All through the year 2002 CAFIA paid a considerable attention to producers and sellers and their compliance with the prescribed quality and labelling standards, and, above all, to finding out if they did not offer falsely labelled foodstuffs (food adulterations). By food adulteration the unfair businessmen gain economic advantages against the honest businessmen, since their production costs are lower, products cheaper and they highly valorise (for the sake of their excess profits) poor quality products. The harm in such cases is also done to the state, as it causes tax evasions and creates corruption environment. At the same time, such practices cause a substantial financial harm also to consumers, since they pay for higher quality than they receive.
Therefore, new and yet more effective methods of detecting food adulterations are applied in the inspections to be performed. CAFIA plays an important role in protecting consumers from low quality products. It contributes greatly to establishing business environment, minimising the opportunities for frauds and adulterations at the expense of the state and honest entrepreneurs who represent the absolute majority.
The objective of food controls is not to impose penalties. It is to improve, first of all and as soon as possible, the non-compliances detected during inspections. Penalties should represent only one of the means available for settling down the illegal acts. This view was also considered in a new Act No. 146/2002, Coll. of L., on the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority, which clearly determines specific cases in which it is possible to refrain from imposing a penalty.
As for the interpretation of results of inspections described in this Report, it is necessary to take into account the fact that majority of inspections carried out by CAFIA were target-directed, focusing on products and premises in which the non-conformances might have been expected. Therefore, the results published here cannot be presented as a mere average of safety and quality of goods inspected in the production premises or an average, which the consumers can find in shops.