Annual Report 200102/01/2002
- 1. Introduction
- 2.1 Priorities of Inspections Performed in 2001
- 2.2 Overall Surveys of Results of Control
- 2.3 Results of Controls of the Microbiological Requirements
- 2.4 Results of Analyses for Contaminants
- 2.5 Controls of Labelling and Quality
- 2.6 Thematic and Extraordinary Inspections
- 2.6.1 Inspections focusing on food safety
- 2.6.2 Inspections focused on adulterations
- 2.6.3 Complex and other inspections
- 2.7 Inspections in production
- 2.8 Inspections in trade network
- 2.9 Suggestions
- 2.10 Penalties
- 3 Laboratory Activities
- 4 Certification Activities
- 5 Internal Information System
- 6 Personnel Training
- 7 Activities in the Field of Legislation
- 8 Cooperation with Other Authorities and Institutions
- 9 International Relations
- 10 Public Relations
- 11 Conclusion
- 12 Abbreviations and Explanations
Food for special dietary use on the herbal extract basis
Within the scope of an ordinary control of food for special dietary use, the CAFIA laboratories detected values of lead, cadmium and mercury in a few food supplements many times exceeding the set MRL. This was the case of tablets imported from India and produced on the basis of herbal extracts. Moreover, the Ministry of Health had never issued for this product an approval allowing its release into circulation. The contents of heavy metals identified in the above food supplements represented a serious risk to the consumer health.
E.g., in the product called Astrum Ma Madhulene, with a specified date of production of 2001-04-09, the identified contents of lead were 41,500 mg per 1 kg of food (the set limit is 8mg/kg), and the contents of mercury identified were 2,950 mg per 1 kg of food (the set limit is 0.5 mg/kg).
The importer was immediately forbidden to put the specified food into circulation and the general public was informed through numerous press releases relating to the above matter.
Fennel tea suspected of containing seeds of toxic thorn apple
The inspection of fennel tea was focusing on food safety, the purpose of which was to confirm whether the tea contained or not admixtures of seeds of a toxic thorn apple (Datura stramonium), and consequently the toxic thorn apple alkaloids scopolamine and hyoscyamine.
The total of 758 shops and warehouses were inspected within the scope of the control action. Altogether 19 samples of fennel tea or other products containing fennel (including spices) were taken for laboratory analyses.
The analyses for the admixtures (in thorn apple) identified 8 samples as nonconforming. In all those cases the products were imported to the Czech Republic from other foreign countries. The weight spectrometry also proved in these samples the values of thorn apple alkaloids. The batches of products risky to public health were immediately withdrawn from circulation and destroyed. Also in this case the consumers were informed continuously through media.
Polyaromatic hydrocarbons in olive oils
In March and April 2001, CAFIA identified a many times exceeded hygienic limit for polyaromatic hydrocarbons in samples of olive oils imported from Spain.
Immediately a ban was imposed on circulation of the nonconforming batches and the importers were ordered to withdraw the nonconforming products from the market. The actions that CAFIA adopted made the competent Spanish authorities perform a series of laboratory analyses that resulted in a similar decision, i.e., to withdraw immediately the nonconforming oil from the distribution network all over the Spanish territory and to suspend production of these products. The values of polyaromatic hydrocarbons exceeding the hygienic limit were detected mainly in the inexpensive olive oils produced from the residues of the already ground and squeezed olives. Also in this case CAFIA continuously kept the general public informed.
3-MCPD contaminant in soy sauces
An extensive survey carried out by the British FSA (Food Standard Agency) focusing on the identification of the 3-MCPD contaminant (3-monochlorine-1,2-propandiol) in soy sauces served as a suggestion for a series of tests performed in a number of European countries.
The SPPI (Slovak Agricultural and Food Inspection Authority) detected 3-MCPD in a sample of soy sauce produced in the Czech Republic. Based on this suggestion CAFIA carried out analyses of several samples of soy sauces both of domestic and foreign origins. Their results confirmed findings of the SPPI. The contents of 3-MCPD in soy sauce of the Czech manufacturer were several times higher than the maximum limit set in accordance with the EU Directive No. 466/2001. A ban of sale was imposed on the nonconforming products and they were withdrawn from the market. Also this case was published and got in the centre of attention of the general public.
Dried fruit and fruit with added sugar
The purpose of these inspections was to control food safety of dried fruit and fruit with added sugar with respect to the contents of additives, namely preservatives (sulphur dioxide, benzoic acid and sorbic acid) and synthetic dyes, including their declaration on the label for the consumers, and to control whether the declared name of a particular product conforms with its character.
In total 36 samples were taken, of which 27 samples (75 %) did not comply with the requirements of the currently valid legilation. The problem applied in particular to the sulphur dioxide and dyes, about the use of which the consumers were not properly informed from the labelling, to wrongly given name and in a few cases to the missing information on the ingredients (added sugar).
Bottled drinking water
These inspections focused on the control of food safety from the perspective of the microbiological and physical requirements. The inspections took place in all the Czech producers of bottled natural water, bottled table and infant water. Within the scope of this control also samples of imported bottled water were analysed.
Of the total number of samples 3 were evaluated as nonconforming. The reason was a hygienic limit exceeding contents of nitrites and nitrates, and the non-conformances in the declared contents of fluorides on the label.
The results proved that the non-compliances in food safety in this commodity occur rather sporadically and, in general, we may say that quality of the traditional bottled water (mineral, infant and table) is high.