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
3.5 Food Labelling and Quality Controls
Food Quality Control
In most cases laboratory analyses are essential for judging whether the quality limits determined or declared by a producer or a seller have been observed. This is how the so-called analytical parameters are controlled, which means whether the foods contain the prescribed or declared ingredients or substances, and whether their amount complies with a determined limit, or whether unapproved ingredients or substances have been added, if all declared weights and volumes are observed, if the food comply with other requirements, such as the appropriate dray matter, acidity, granulation, contents of admixtures, etc.
CAFIA detected in 2002, within the scope of the analytical parameters control, the total of 862 nonconforming samples: the highest number in wine (266 samples), potatoes (179 samples), liquors (81 samples), baked products (49 samples) and processed fruit and vegetables (33 samples).
The control of quality parameters utilises a sensory analysis in order to assess the sensory parameters, such as food consistency and structure, visual appearance, characteristic taste and smell, colour, etc. The sensory analysis is mainly applied because it is fast and cheap to detect whether the foods are free of chemical, microbiological or other kind of contamination. It is quite often used as a method of the initial quality assessment prior to sampling and subsequent laboratory analyses.
In 2002 CAFIA detected, within the scope of the quality control of sensory parameters, the total of 2,972 nonconforming samples: the highest number in fresh vegetables (966 samples), fresh fruit (440 samples), wine (391 samples), baked products (154 samples) and cold products (139 samples).
Food Labelling Control
The CAFIA inspectors detected, within the scope of the food labelling control carried out in the monitored period, the total of 3,589 nonconforming samples: the highest number in fresh vegetables (613), followed by fresh fruit (472), baked products (379), liquors (341) and meat - meat products (278).
The above text confirms that food quality and labelling controls represent activities that are, for the most part, inseparable from one another. This includes mainly the cases of inspection focusing on a revelation of false data provided to a consumer (“food adulterations“). Some specific examples of such controls are described in a chapter on Thematic Inspections.Another area of CAFIA activities is the food labelling control (of both packed, wrapped and also unpacked foods). The inspectors assess whether producers or sellers print all required data on the labels, and if the data have a prescribed form and are true, and last but not least, in they comply with the obligation concerning the Use-by-dates and Minimum durability dates. They also verify whether the additional data on food that are provided to a consumer beyond the limits of a legal framework, are truthful. Within the intention of the Food Act, food quality is a set of characteristic properties of the individual types, groups and subgroups of foodstuffs that have their hygienic limits stipulated in this act and other decrees. The set quality parameters vary in dependence on a specific foodstuff.