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Consumers

02/25/2015
 

1) Is it indicating information on the labelling in Czech language mandatory?

Information on the labelling of products intended for final consumers in the Czech Republic has to be provided in Czech language. Business name of foodstuffs does not have to be translated (for example dušená šunka shaved, mint tea, etc.) as well as information that can not be unambiguously expressed in Czech language. Information in Czech language is sufficient for example on the label which is stuck on the label in a foreign language. If you encounter foodstuffs which are not labelled in Czech language, you can inform the seller of this deficiency or you can submit a suggestion for an inspection. The web form by which you can send a suggestion for an inspection to CAFIA is available here.

2) Is it all right when the producer is not indicated on the food product?

All foodstuffs placed on the market within the EU shall comply with general labelling requirements laid down by Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011. Act No. 110/1997 Coll. on Foodstuffs and Tobacco Product, as amended provides for additional mandatory information.
The regulations mentioned above provide for that the name of the producer shall have be indicated on the labelling of foodstuffs packaged without presence of the consumer and also on the labelling of unpacked foodstuffs. As regards packed foodstuffs, Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 does not mention the producer, however, the food business operator under whose name the foodstuff is placed on the market is responsible for compliance with food legislation – it could be producer, importer, distributor, retail chain that has the products produced under its private brand.
However, in case of foodstuffs of animal origin, the producer is indicated by means of a health certificate (oval stamp) which comprises the abbreviation of the nationality and registration number unique for every manufacturing plant. Premises in the CR could be found for example on the web sites of the State Veterinary Administration of the CR (www.svscr.cz via the link “Registered Subjects”).

3) What does “lot” stand for? Why is this information important?

A lot means the amount of unique units of the same kind produced under identical conditions (from the same raw material at the same time). Labelling of the lot on a packaged foodstuff and tobacco product is indicated on the packaging intended for consumers. As regards an unpacked foodstuff, it is given on the external packaging, in which the foodstuff in question is placed on the market, in particular in transportation or group packaging. If this is not possible, it is given in written documentation accompanying the foodstuff in question. The lot does not have to be indicated for example on the packaging smaller than 10 cm2, on single portions of ice cream, on foodstuffs that were wrapped in the place of sale upon the request of the consumer, etc. The lot is labelled as a numeric code with letter L (e.g. L27021) but more often it is identified according to the best before date or use by date. This information is essential for traceability of the non-compliant foodstuff or raw material. In case CAFIA founds unwholesome foodstuffs, the detection concerns only the particular lot.

4) I found expired foodstuffs in a shop. How is this possible?

It depends on the type of the date the foodstuff is labelled. There are two types: Foodstuffs labelled as “Use by:” cannot be sold after this date expires. On the contrary, foodstuffs provided with “Best before date:” could be sold, however, they have to be labelled as expired and placed separately from other foodstuffs. Indication “Akce” or “Sleva” (“Discount”) is not sufficient. Naturally, such foodstuffs have to be safe. The seller is responsible for ensuring safety.

5) Are all foodstuffs checked before placed on the market?

Food business operators are responsible for ensuring food safety and quality. CAFIA is not responsible for inspection of entire production of foodstuffs before placed on the market. Inspections are carried out on the basis of risk analysis, i.e. they are focused on the high-level risk places on the market, namely producers, importer or traders. If you are suspicious that a product is not all right, you can submit a suggestion for an inspection. A web form by means of which you can send a suggestion for inspection to CAFIA is available here.

6) What to do in case I purchase an unwholesome foodstuff?

Foodstuffs could be claimed the same way as the other products. In case a consumer does not want or is not able to remedy the situation directly at the seller, he/she can refer to the local CAFIA Inspectorate according to the seat of the premises. However, it is not possible to refer to CAFIA in order to solve the claim. That is to say that CAFIA is not entitled to enter the civil relation between a seller and a customer. Only the court could decide the claim dispute. That means that CAFIA is not able to help the consumer to get his/her money back. The consumer shall refer directly to the seller and if they do not come up to the agreement, he/she can refer to the court.
SUGGESTION could be submitted in written form, in person, by phone or e-mail (contact can be found for example in the organisation structure of the CAFIA websites www.szpi.gov.cz or it is possible to use a form for sending a suggestion for an inspection in the Section “Mail to us”. Indicating the exact name of the product and the producer or importer is essential if they are given on the labelling of the product. It also suitable to indicate the address of the premises where the product was purchased, use by date or best before date (in order to identify the lot) and describe the deficiencies of the foodstuff in question.
Consumers sometimes bring a deficient foodstuff to the inspectors. However, the brought sample is for orientation only to focus the inspection. It cannot be used a basis for legal measures of CAFIA, as it is not an official sample.
If a consumer is interested in the assessment of quality and safety of the submitted sample, such assessment can be carried out only as an analysis upon the request for financial reimbursement. Consumers can thus use any accredited laboratory for food analyses. CAFIA does not carry out analyses upon request. The list of accredited laboratories is available for example on the website of the Czech Accreditation Institute http://www.cai.cz/en.

7) Where to refer to with a complaint about a fast food operator?

Within its responsibility, CAFIA carries out inspections of foodstuffs, raw materials for their production, agricultural products and tobacco products. Public catering, i.e. fast foods are within the responsibility of bodies of public health protection. Regional hygiene services (RHS) carry out supervision over safety and observance of hygiene requirements within operated catering business in restaurants of all types – i.e. Restaurants, hotels, bars, pensions, beer houses, bistros, buffets, fast food stalls, etc. Contacts for single RHS where you can submit a suggestion for an inspection are available here.

8) I would like to submit an application for sensorial exams Where can be found dates  and prices of such exams?

Unfortunately, CAFIA does not organise sensorial exams for the public anymore. To pass the sensorial exam is possible for applicants from other public administrations bodies only.
 
 
 
 

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