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
3.6 Thematic and Extraordinary Inspections
Thematic inspections are usually pursued under the direction of uniform guidance notes. Their purpose is to contribute to dealing with the issues concerning different areas of food safety and quality. They are conducted either on the national basis or, as target-directed, only in some regions. This chapter describes some of the thematic inspections carried out in 2002.
Inspection of quality wines released in circulation in holiday resorts
This inspection focused on quality wines sold in stores, followed by inspections of the production premises. Its goal was to find out whether physical persons or entities, releasing quality wine in circulation, do not cheat consumers because they fraudulently present quality wines as table wines, especially in case of wines sold by the glass, or because they release in circulation wines without owing an assessment or classification from a Committee of Experts.
The total of 385 sellers and 44 producers of wine were inspected. Some 735 samples of quality wines were subjected to a control right in the place of inspection. Altogether 207 samples were withdrawn for laboratory analyses, of which 114 were identified as nonconforming, i.e. 55.1 %. The most frequently detected non-compliances were the inappropriate sensory characteristics, labelling and analytical parameters. The analyses also proved traces of synthetic dyes and the admixture of sorbic acid. In 4 cases the inspection disclosed table wine fraudulently sold as a quality wine. The inspections carried out in the production premises detected 7 cases of wine, which had been released in circulation without receiving the required decision of the Ministry of Agriculture on the wine classification. The inspections also identified 22 cases when no records had been maintained.
Inspections of wines with the contents of CO2
These inspections focused on the sparkling and carbonated wines of domestic origin. Their objective was to judge the quality of offered wines with the contents of CO2 that were intended for sale in the pre-Christmas market, and to find out whether consumers were not cheated and whether requirements for food safety were satisfied.
All the wine samples taken were subjected to laboratory and sensory analyses, including assesment of labelling. The laboratory analyses included the determination of the contents of CO2, alcohol, volatile acids, sugar, sugar-free extract, pressure, contents of sorbic acid, citric acid and the presence of synthetic dyes in red wines. The parameters such as – visual appearance, colour, smell and taste – were assessed in sensory analyses.
The total of 45 samples of different wines were analysed, and 38 samples were evaluated as nonconforming. Most of the samples were assessed as non-complying even at sensory analyses and, accordingly, at least in one of the laboratory parameters. Many samples did not comply with the legal requirements in more laboratory parameters.
Inspection of half-fermented young wine focusing on the detection of exogenous (added) water
The goal of this inspection was to prove that water is added in half-fermented young wine. The determinations were done using the isotopic method, which is based on the determination of a diameter of the O18/O16oxygen isotopes. This is an official method used in the EU countries. The laboratory analyses were performed in laboratories abroad. The total of 10 samples were analysed and the results of analyses confirmed the presence of exogenous (added) water in 7 samples.
Inspection of sugar quality and labelling
The goal of this inspection was to verify compliance with the requirements for sugar quality and to gain complete information on the registered and non-registered sugar products in the Czech Republic.
The inspections were carried out in sugar refineries and in production premises involved in the final processing of sugar and in packaging, and also in purchases of sugar (packing works), and in the wholesale warehouses that mediate purchases and sales of sugar, including the trade network. The total of 138 samples of sugar were taken, of which 134 sugar samples came from domestic production and 4 samples represented imported sugar (2 samples of sugar from Poland and 2 from Hungary).
The labelling was judged in 125 samples, of which 9 samples did not comply with the requirements stipulated. The physical and chemical requirements for quality were evaluated in 67 samples, of which 10 samples did not comply with these requirements. The most frequently detected non-compliance was the unsatisfactory colour in a solution and sorting by the size of saccharose particles when the weight proportion expressed in percentage determined for individual subgroups of sweeteners (granulated, caster, icing sugar) did not comply with the requirements stipulated in a relevant decree.
Inspection of herbal food supplements
In view of the rising popularity and consumption of various food supplements and the consumer concern increased due to detection of high contents of heavy metals in similar products in 2001, a large attention was paid to the inspection of food for special dietary uses and, mainly, to herbal food supplements. In the course of two nationwide inspections the total of 56 samples were taken (15 samples of domestic products, 41 samples of imported products), which were analysed for the contents of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead and mercury. The inspections also paid attention to labelling. The non-compliances, such as higher contents of mercury, were detected in 3 products imported from foreign countries. Other cases included only non-compliances concerning labelling, of which the most serious was the missing data in the Czech language.
Food safety and quality inspection in the infant milk formulae
In view of the specific target group of consumers, CAFIA carried out sampling of 14 types (samples) of the infant milk formulae available in the trade network that were analysed for microbiological requirements, requirements for contents, energy value and labelling. The number of samples taken represented 61 % of the total number of products that were granted an approval of the Ministry of Health with the release of these products in circulation in the Czech Republic. All samples complied with the microbial requirements (Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., Shigella spp., Staphylococcus aureus, Yersinia enterocolitica), requirements for the contents (sugars, fats, vitamin A, vitamin D3) and also with requirements for energy value. Only 1 sample, due to its lower contents of proteins, did not comply with the requirements stipulated in legal regulations and minor non-conformances in labelling were identified in 3 samples.
Graph 3.6.1: Total results of inspection of herbal food supplements – number of samples
The results of this inspection confirmed that both the local and foreign producers of the infant milk formulae pay a thorough attention to food safety and quality.
Graph 3.6.2: Results of inspections of the infant milk formulae – number of samples
Inspection of the contents of iodine in edible salt fortified with iodine
In the course of March and April CAFIA performed inspections focusing on the verification of the minimum contents of iodine in edible salt fortified with iodine – in retail packaging - and in edible salt to be used by producers of foodstuffs. Altogether 24 samples of edible salt were analysed, of which 6 samples represented products of a local producer and 18 samples represented salt imported from foreign producers.
All samples of edible salt met the requirements stipulated in the decree with respect to the minimum contents of iodine. The contents of iodine also corresponded with data about the iodine contents declared on the label in all the samples judged. The average contents of iodine in samples taken were 25.2 mg/kg.
In the first half of 2002 CAFIA also carried out monitoring that focused on gaining as much information as possible on the actual situation with respect to the use of edible salt fortified with iodine in the manufacturers of baked products. A survey was carried out in altogether 277 producers of baked products. The results of the survey showed that edible salt fortified with iodine was used in the production process by 224 producers (80.9 %). In comparison to results of survey completed in 1999, when it had been found out that only 55 % of bakehouses used edible salt fortified with iodine in production, the situation has undergone a considerable improvement. The results gained will be used as one of the sources for the Interdepartmental Committee dealing with the iodine deficit in the Czech Republic that was established at the State Health Institute.
Inspection of milk fat contents in mixed emulsified fats and butter spreads
The scope of this inspection was to verify proportional contents of milk fats in mixed emulsified fats and butter spreads. The total of 20 products were inspected – 7 samples of emulsified fats and 13 samples of different butter spreads.
All the samples of butter spreads and mixed emulsified fats complied with the requirements for the contents of total fat and contents of milk fats stipulated in the relevant decree. No product analysed for the contents of total fat and milk fat contained lower values than those declared on the label and intended for consumers.
The inspection, though, brought to notice some non-compliance in labelling of the emulsified fats: missing data on the quantity of the highlighted ingredients (butter, sunflower oil) and false labelling of “butter” referring to a mixed emulsified fat.
Inspection of wholemeal and special baked products
This inspection focused on the correct labelling of wholemeal and special baked products in terms of their contents of ingredients determined in a recipe.
Its scope was to verify whether the producers comply with requirements stipulated in an executive regulation for the contents of raw materials: as for the wholemeal products, they are to have legislatively determined contents of wholemeal fours or processed caryopsis film particles, the contents of special products are determined legislatively in a decree, listing the particular ingredients – specific cereals, oil plants, leguminous crops and potatoes.
The inspections were performed in the production premises of different producer. In total, 68 products were analysed, indicated as special or wholemeal. Of which 36 products did not comply with requirements of a definition for “special” or “wholemeal”, i.e. 52.9 %. The nonconforming products were classified, in majority of cases, as falsely labelled.
The producers, in the main, adopted an accommodating approach to the results of inspections, implementing the corrective actions to the product labelling immediately or within time period set in the corrective actions taken.
Inspection of instant coffees
The emphasis of this inspection was laid on the detection of potentially “adulterated” products circulating in the market, containing other ingredients than pure coffee. The “adulterations” of instant coffees were detected through determination of the individual selected sugars (glucose, fructose, xylose and manitol), which are characteristic of the contents of 100% pure instant coffee. This inspection was a continuation of similar inspections pursued in 2000. The sampling was in most cases done in the retail trade network, including marketplaces. The inspection did not concentrated on product of the large and well-known producers.
Of the total number of 28 samples, the analyses focusing on the detection of “adulterations” identified 6 products as nonconforming, i.e. 21.4 %. Of the 6 detected adulterations, 2 products were of the Czech origins and 4 represented imported products.
Inspection of mycotoxins in cereals
The scope of this inspection was to monitor mycotoxins, sterigmatocystine and deoxinivalenol (DON), in mill grain products released into circulation in consumer packaging. Inspections were performed predominantly in the premises of food producers.
Within the framework of the inspection of sterigmatocystine the total of 44 samples were analysed, mainly of wheat flours, rice, müesli and oat flakes. All the results of analyses were satisfactory and within the limits of detection (< 0,002 mg/kg).
Within the scope of inspection of mycotoxin DON the total of 40 samples were analysed (wheat flours represented the highest number of samples, followed by rice and corn products). All the samples analysed for the contents of mycotoxin DON complied with the determined limit. The detected contents of mycotoxin were in most cases beyond the detection limit (< 0,2 mg/kg). However, values exceeding the limit were detected in 5 cases: 2 samples of wheat flour and 3 samples of corn products. The results obtained can be used as a suggestion, which will be taken into account o the occasion of the next inspections.
Inspection of correct labelling in pasta with respect to the indication “egg” or “home-made”
This inspection was a continuation of inspections carried out in 2001 and its task was to verify whether the producers of pasta comply with the requirement for minimum quantity of fowl eggs in the production of egg and home-made pasta.
The inspections planned within the range of this inspection were carried out predominantly in the production premises. 19 samples were taken for laboratory analyses. Of the total number of samples 4 did not comply with the requirements for the contents of fowl eggs stipulated in a relevant decree. The samples of homemade pasta were not taken, since in accordance with to the current information, the pasta declared as homemade is produced only exceptionally in the Czech Republic.
Inspection in ice-creams
This inspection focused on the verification of the compliance with food safety in ice-creams sold by the portions, non-packed, and in concrete, on the determination of the presence or the number of selected pathogenic or conditionally pathogenic microorganisms, or decay causative agents and indicator microorganisms. Its objective was to ascertain immediate condition, also in view of the fact that ice creams are risky foodstuffs from the microbiological point of view. The range of these inspections included also inspections focusing on the compliance with some selected hygienic and sanitary requirements for the selling of ice cream.
The sampling took place in 42 ice-cream sellers in the first half of July 2002, including seasonal sellers and ice cream selling from stalls. The total of 87 samples of ice cream were taken for laboratory microbiological analyses. 62 samples represented ice creams with the contents of milk products.
All the samples subjected to microbiological analyses complied with the limits determined in a relevant executive regulation, i.e. the requirements for food safety were complied with and the foodstuffs inspected were not risky to public health.
Inspection of the genetically modified soya and labelling of the genetically modified foodstuffs and raw materials
The scope of this inspection was to verify whether products containing genetically modified organisms, not approved for use in the Czech Republic, are released in circulation. CAFIA also carried out inspections of labelling of foodstuffs containing genetically modified soya.
Within the range of this inspection, the CAFIA laboratories at the headquarters completed analyses of 23 samples of raw materials and final foodstuffs from 15 different producers and importers. Each sample was analysed for genetic modification using the PCR screening method, and if the result was positive, the specific RR soya was determined, including its quantitative analysis.
Of the total number of samples analysed, the genetic modification of DNA Roundup Ready soya was detected in 6 food samples only (2 raw materials and 4 final foodstuffs). In three of them genetic modification was determined in the value lower than 0.1%, and the contents of genetic modification detected in the remaining three samples (2 final foodstuffs, 1 raw material) exceeded 2 %.
A ban was inflicted on the circulation of the final foodstuffs containing more than 2 % of the genetically modified RR soya, which were not labelled in compliance with the requirements stipulated, and a penalty was imposed on the entity inspected. As for the case of raw material containing more than 2% of the genetically modified DNA, the legal regulations were not violated.
The results of inspection proved that foodstuffs containing the genetically modified DNA were released in circulation in the Czech Republic in an amount exceeding the limit determined for due labelling, and the labelling of such products was not in compliance with the relevant laws and decrees. However, this always applied to modification (RR soya) that had received an approval to circulation in the Czech Republic issued both by the Department of Environment and the Ministry of Health, which is why the consumer health was not put at risk.
On the other hand, it is positive that the genetically modified organisms were not detected in any analysed unprocessed “raw” material (beans, sprouts, etc.). If an unapproved genetic modification was detected without being declared on the label, this would have been qualified as a violation of the Act No. 153/2000, Coll. of L., on handling with genetically modified organisms and products.
Inspection of labelling of packed fish products and choice salads containing fish and other aquatic animals
The scope of this inspection was to verify if the packed fish products and choice salads containing fish and other aquatic animals are labelled in compliance with the requirements stipulated in relevant regulations.
The total of 42 samples from 8 producers were analysed. Some 38 samples did not comply with the requirements (i.e. 90.5 %), in which a number of non-conformances were identified (missing name of the food type; missing data on the contents of an ingredient which was verbally highlighted in the labelling; graphic representation did not correspond to the actual contents; minor ingredients were not declared, etc.).
The results of inspection proved that producers of the above products do not pay, relatively often, respect to obligations relating to the labelling that are stipulated in the legislation. In part, it is due to their ignorance of the law, but we may speak of deliberate cheating of consumers in some producers.
Inspection of packed carved beef
The objective of this inspection was to discover an interchange of categories of the packed carved beef – specifically, if the meat released in circulation and labelled as “bull” meat isn’t, in reality, meat from a dairy cow.
The total of 27 samples of carved beef declared on the label as “bull” or “young bull” meat were analysed. In each sample a DNA sequence was detected, using the PCR method specific for the chromosome Y, which can only be found in a bull (male sex). None of the analyses proved that meat indicated as “bull meat” was in reality cow meat, or meat of another category of cattle.
The results of inspection did not confirm the previous information published in mass media, notifying about a serious cheating of consumers by selling carved beef from a cow as bull meat.
Inspection of labelling of the selected meat products
The executive regulation stipulates specific characteristics of some meat products, which have to be respected in order to indicate these products with their characteristic names, such as “vysočina” salami, “selský” salami, “poličan” salami, etc.
The objective of this inspection was to find out if the above meat products are released in circulation, with respect to their labelling, in compliance with legislation valid in the Czech Republic.
The total of 28 meat products were inspected (the due labelling was assessed straight in the place of inspection). A laboratory analysis was performed in 7 samples (which were duly labelled), focusing on the determination of plant protein, determination of Aw (water activity) and fat contents.
Of the total number of 28 samples, 7 samples did not comply with the legislative requirements, i.e. 25 %. False labelling was the case of 6 samples – the name (“vysočina” salami, “poličan” salami, etc.) did not comply with the determined requirements. 1 nonconforming sample was only a case of an incorrect formulation of the meat product group. All samples complied with the requirements in laboratory analyses.
Inspection of truthfulness of data referring to the carved beef
With effect from 1 October 2001 an obligation to indicate the beef carved meat, packed, wrapped or unpacked, with precise identification data. This inspection aimed to find out if the labelling of beef meat, when released in circulation, is precisely in compliance with the legislative requirements.
In concrete terms, it had to be verified if the animal, the meat from which was released in circulation, had actually been slaughtered in an official slaughterhouse and if the date of slaughter, registration number, age, reference number of the last breed, and the category of beef declared on the label agree, and if the particular animal had been tested for BSE, and if data referring to the accredited laboratory and the protocol number referring to a laboratory examination were true.
Altogether 20 different batches of carved beef released in circulation in the supermarkets underwent a complete examination.
It was possible to compare from the results that in 5 cases the date of slaughter declared on the meat label did not correspond with the date of slaughter of the animal; in 5 cases different age of an animal was declared on the meat label, and in 3 cases the number of the last breed was incorrect. It was discovered in 1 case that the data referring to the BSE test did not comply with the reality, since the examination was not carried out at all.
Inspection of fresh fruit and vegetables
The object of this inspection was to detect the actual level of quality, safety and labelling in these two commodities sold in supermarkets and in establishments of locally important sellers. The inspections took place between April and May 2002, focusing on such parameters, which could be judged directly in the inspected premises. No sampling was done for laboratory analyses.
The inspections were performed in 150 premises in the ownership of 31 inspected entities. The total of 2,406 batches of fresh fruit and vegetables were inspected, of which 371 batches, i.e. 15.4 %, were identified as nonconforming. As for the individual commodities, the worst results were detected in onion and carrot.
The CAFIA inspectors discovered that the total of 6,397 batches of fresh fruit and vegetables were released in circulation in the inspected retail establishments. If after the initial inspection a protocol of evaluation of foodstuffs controlled in the place of inspection were written for the batches that were declared to be in order, then the percentage of nonconforming batches would have dropped to 5.8 % only.
Inspection of apples
The objective of the inspections was to ascertain the actual status of quality, labelling and safety in apples. The inspections took pace between April and May 2002. The total of 393 batches of apples were examined, of which 57 batches did not comply with the legal regulations, i.e. 14.5 %.
Table 3.6: Results of apple inspection by the individual countries of origin
Total of batches inspected
Number of nonconforming batches
Nonconforming batches in %
Republic of South Africa
The most frequently detected non-conformances were: colour changes of the pulp – browning of stored apples, core mould, or less frequent occurrence of moulds and rots on the apple surface. Relatively smaller quantities of apples were not properly labelled. One batch of imported apples was not complying due to detection of non-permitted pesticide residue.
The quality of apples was negatively affected by unsuitable storage conditions. The inspections took place in spring, which is the end of durability in apples.
Inspection of table potatoes from autumn harvest
The inspection focused on quality of potatoes harvested in autumn that were released in circulation by their producers and retail companies, and on potential corrective actions that might improve the negative situation. The inspections took place between February and March 2002.
Altogether 593 batches of table potatoes harvested autumn were inspected, of which 137 batches did not comply with the legislative requirements, i.e. 23.1 %.
CAFIA inspected 471 batches of potatoes produced locally, of which 107 batches (22.7 %) did not comply with the legislative requirements. The total of 122 batches of imported potatoes were also examined, of which 30 batches were evaluated as nonconforming (24.6 %).
The results of inspection, in comparison to results of 2001, proved improvement in quality of the table potatoes harvested autumn that are supplied to retail trade network (in 2001 the total of 45.6 batches examined did not comply with the legislative requirements).
It is evident from the comparison of domestic and imported potatoes that slightly better quality was detected in the potatoes from local sources.