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
1. Contents and Introduction
the year 2002 was a year of significant changes for the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority, and a year of accelerating demands made not only on our authority as an institution but also on our employees.
The year 2002 was also characteristic of intensive arrangements carried out within the framework of a new Phare project, which will be definitely launched at the beginning of 2003. Its objective is to implement a new comprehensive Information System for the Control of Food and Feed in the Czech Republic, establishing a reciprocal link between the Czech inspection and surveillance authorities. The on-line data transmission should provide a more efficient surveillance over the food and feed safety, respectively. The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority will become a contact point in this system for Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) that is operated in countries of the European Union. CAFIA will function as a node where data on products dangerous to human health or suspicious products, circulating in the unified European market, will pass through and, obviously, this will entail tremendous responsibility of our employees. The Phare project will carry on with the project of the Coordination Group for Food Safety established at the Ministry of Agriculture.
The exceptionally demanding arrangements for this project, carried out all through the last year, are to become the basis for its implementation in the years to come.
In 2003 CAFIA will also launch – within the framework of the Phare project – an implementation of the Quality Management System in accordance with the standard ISO 9001:2000, which should be certified the following year. We expect of the new system further improvement of all the authority activities, on the other hand, we also expect increase in demands on accuracy and quality of work executed by all our employees.The demands on professional qualifications required in majority of the CAFIA personnel continued to rise all over the previous period and will continue to rise also in the future. The main emphasis will be laid on professional competence, computer skills, knowledge of languages and communication skills. This will not be easy for many of us, but if we aim to access the European Union as a sovereign and modern authority, it will be essential to do it with fully qualified, responsible and self-confident specialists.
I am sure we’ll make it by joining hands in our effort.
Ing. Jakub Šebesta
2. 2. Organisational Structure and Its Changes
New Territorial Competences of the CAFIA Regional Inspectorates:
With effect from 1.1.2002 a number of changes were made to the territorial competences of the individual Regional Inspectorates of the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority (CAFIA), taking into consideration the present administrative division of the Czech Republic:
- Regional Inspectorate in Prague – having territorial competences in the Region of Central Bohemia and the capital of Prague;
- Regional Inspectorate in Tábor – having territorial competences in the Region of South Bohemia and the Highlands Region;
- Regional Inspectorate in Plzeň – having territorial competences in the Regions of Plzeň and Karlovy Vary;
- Regional Inspectorate in Ústí nad Labem – having territorial competences in the Regions of Ústí nad Labem and Liberec;
- Regional Inspectorate in Hradec Králové – having territorial competences in the Regions of Hradec Králové and Pardubice;
- Regional Inspectorate in Brno – having territorial competences in the Regions of South Moravia and Zlín;
- Regional Inspectorate in Olomouc – having territorial competences in the Regions of Olomouc and Moravia-Silesia.
A new CAFIA Organisational Manual became effective from 01.03.2002, altering considerably organisational structure of the headquarters, which is in line with the principles of administrative agencies systemisation to be arranged.
The new organisational structure of the CAFIA headquarters:
- General Director
- Authority Office (AO)
- Control, Laboratories and Certification Department (CLCD)
- Law, European Integration and Foreign Affairs Department (LEIFAD)
- Economic and Personnel Department (EPD)
- Public Relations Unit (PRU)
- Internal Auditor
3. 3. Inspections
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.
4. 3.2 Overall Surveys of Results of Inspections
3.2 Overall Surveys of Results of Inspections
The CAFIA inspectors performed the total of 22,794 individual inspections. The total of 11,593 inspections were carried out in retail network; 8,923 in production; 2,179 in wholesale stores and 99 in other premises.
Graph 3.2.1: Number of inspections performed by the entities inspected
During the entire monitored period altogether 9,037 nonconforming samples of food and tobacco products were detected. Of which 5,965 food samples represented foodstuffs of domestic origin and 3,072 food samples represented imported goods.
Taking into account the places of inspections performed, the number of the detected nonconforming samples were as follows: 6,732 in retail network, 1,687in production, 535in wholesale stores and 83 in other premises.
Considering the type of analysis, the nonconforming samples of food and tobacco products were determined in the following numbers:
- control of microbiological requirements – 3,092
- control of contaminants – 374
- control of labelling – 3,589
- quality control of analytical requirements – 862
- quality control of sensory requirements – 2,972
- fresh vegetables - 1,711
- fresh fruit - 941
- confectioneries pastries - 788
- cold products - 718
- wines - 707
- baked goods - 612
- meat and meat products - 526
- spirit and liquors - 448
- dairy products - 334
- potatoes - 330
Graph 3.2.2.: Number of nonconforming samples by the type of analysis
5. 3.3 Results of Control of Microbiological Requirements
3.3 Results of Control of Microbiological Requirements
The microbial contamination of food can be risky or cause harm to human health. A duly performed inspection, monitoring and the Rapid Alert System operated for the sake of the prevention from alimentary infections and intoxications lay the basis of public health protection. CAFIA, as a body of state surveillance over food, carried out inspections focusing on the compliance with the microbiological requirements for food laid down in a decree issued by the Ministry of Health No. 294/1997, Coll. of L., as amended.
The control of microbiological requirements was intent on the individual kinds of foodstuffs by the individual seasons of the year. As for the epidemiologically dangerous foodstuffs (such as cold meals and confectioneries) their sampling was carried out all the year through, with special emphasis laid on summer months.
Majority of the microbiological analyses were carried out in laboratories, but some assessments were done directly in the places of inspection (in shops, warehouses, etc.), such as the verification whether foodstuffs show any adverse changes caused by microbial actions or an undesirable growth of microorganisms (moulds visible by naked eye, wet rot).
In 2002 the controls performed in the place of inspection and in laboratories detected the total of 3,092 microbiologically nonconforming food samples (of which 1,299 were detected in places of inspection and 1,793 were detected in laboratories). The highest numbers of nonconforming samples were detected in commodities such as fresh vegetables (797), confectioneries (669), cold meals (580), fresh fruit (383) and meat – meat products (153).
Results of laboratory analyses
The microbiological laboratory analyses of food were performed in compliance with standards and methodological guidance notes valid in the Czech Republic. Of the total number of 7,995 food samples taken and brought to laboratories for microbiological analyses, altogether 1,793 samples (22.4 %) were identified as nonconforming in 2002. Of which 111 samples were detected as risky to human health, the other samples did not comply with the tolerated values only.
The highest numbers of nonconforming samples were usually detected in summer months. The most frequently presented cause of the non-compliance with the microbiological requirements was the determination of coliform bacteria and anaerobic mesophilic microorganisms (TNM – total number of microorganisms).
In addition to ordinary controls, also planned microbiological controls (monitoring) were included in the assessment of the level of microbiological purity. Every year specific groups of food are selected to be included in monitoring, which are known to have plaid a significant role as for the emergence of alimentary diseases. In order to prevent from infections and intoxications induced by foodstuffs, the monitoring includes also detection of bacterial agent of alimentary diseases, sporadically occurring in foodstuffs. The presences of staphylococcal bacterial toxins were monitored in 2002.
The scale of planned microbiological control carried out in 2002 was almost twice as large as in previous years. Within the scope of the microbiological control planned for 2002 the total of 870 samples were analysed, of which 265 (30.5 %) were assessed as nonconforming and 24 as risky to public health.
Table 3.3.1: Results of control of the microbiological requirements in foodstuffs. Number of nonconforming samples by the individual commodities
in place of inspection
|Meat, meat products||41||112||153|
|Fish and aquatic animals||1||23||24|
|Processed fruit and vegetables||9||15||24|
|Spirit, liquors, yeast||0||10||10|
|Mill grain products||3||14||17|
|Dehydrated products flavoured||0||14||14|
|Ice and ice creams||0||16||16|
|Dry shell fruits||0||28||28|
|Total||1, 299||1, 793||3, 092|
Graph 3.3.1 - Results of control of the microbiological requirements in foodstuffs. Number of nonconforming samples by the individual commodities
Explanation of abbreviations:
|PA – dairy products||PY – cold products|
|PB – poultry, eggs||PV – confectioneries|
|PC – meat, meat products||PX – pasta|
PD – fish and aquatic animals
|PT – dehydrated products flavoured|
|PG – processed fruit and vegetables||PW – ice and ice creams|
|PH – spirit, liquors, yeast||ZC – paced products|
PJ – non-alcoholic beverages
|ZD – fresh fruit|
|PL – mill grain products|
|PK – grape wine||ZF – potato products|
|PO – refrigerated products||ZS – dry shell fruits PM – baked products|
|PM – baked products|
Table 3.3.2 : Number of samples analysed in the CAFIA microbiological laboratories in 2002
Total of Samples
amples dangeous to public health
Graph 3.3.2: Food samples detected as nonconforming with microbiological requirements in 2002 (only laboratory analyses)
Graph 3.3.3: Microorganisms by types detected in the nonconforming food samples
6. 3.4 Results of Control of Contaminants
3.4 Results of Control of Contaminants The control of contaminants in food represented the total of 6,969 samples taken and analysed in 2002, of which 374 (5.4 %) did not comply with legislative requirements.
Number of nonconforming analyses
Number of nonconforming analyses in %
Foodstuffs with detected nonconformances
|Cadmium||24||55,8||Poppy seed blue, frozen mushrooms|
Chinese herbal mixture
|Calcium||2||4,7||Multivitamin preparation, gelatine drink|
In the group of preservatives the most frequently verified agents were sulphur dioxide and sorbic acid, and benzoic acid especially in wine. Altogether 1,497 food samples were taken for the analyses of preservatives, of which 49 samples were evaluated as nonconforming.
Total number of analyses
Number of nonconforming analyses
Nonconforming analyses in %
7. 3.5 Food Labelling and Quality Controls
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.
8. 3.6 Thematic and Extraordinary Inspections
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.
9. 3.7 Inspections in Production Premises
3.7 Inspections in Production Premises
Within the framework of inspections that were supposed to be carried out in the production premises in 2002, the total of 8,923 inspections took place, visiting 4,350 production premises (production places), of which some were inspected repeatedly. With respect to commodities the highest number of inspections were carried out in bakehouses, in the manufacturing premises of cold meals and in the confectioneries.
The system of critical points represented the scope of inspections in 5,821 cases. The inspections showed that the current level of implementation of the system of critical points in the production of foodstuffs is at the highest level in all its history. At the end of 2002 the basic assumption for an accurate (functional) system was met already in 73.36 % of the assessed production premises and non-compliances were detected only in 20.64 % of the production premises assessed (the system had not been implemented yet or it was in different stages of progress in some production premises).
In addition to inspections of the implementation of the system of critical points, CAFIA focused, in 2002, also on the inspection of further requirements stipulated in the legal regulations. The total of 3,156 inspections performed in the production premises focused on the food safety. The infringement of food safety requirements was identified in 150 inspections (i.e. 4.75 %). 2,266 inspections focused on the accomplishment of the imposed corrective actions. And it was detected in the curse of 254 inspections (i.e. 11.21 %) that the entity or person inspected did not fulfill the actions imposed.
In connection with the prepared new regulation of the Ministry of Agriculture No. 451/2002, Coll. of L., on conditions and requirements for the operational and personal hygiene in the production of foodstuffs, with the exception of foodstuffs of animal production, CAFIA carried out, in 2002, the so-called exploratory research within the scope of inspections in the production premises and in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Agriculture. The research focused on the production premises, ensuring, in the whole, a decisive share of the food production. The centre of monitoring was a potential reflection of the new proposed regulation in practice. Yet, the source for a proposal of the new regulations was a draft, which was at disposal in June 2002, i.e. after settling down a circulation of a draft regulation for comments. The total of 752 production premises were assessed. It came out that the producers had problems, in particular, with an appropriate equipment of buildings.
Within the framework of inspections carried out in the production premises in 2002, CAFIA participated in a project of the Ministry of Agriculture on drawing subsidies from the grant programs. The project was to support enhancement of competitiveness of the Czech food industry. CAFIA issued certificates for the applicants from the industrial circles announcing the commencement of production of foodstuffs and, then, carried out, immediately, inspections of the system of critical points. The total of 36 entities were inspected.
10. 3.8 Inspections in the Trade Network
3.8 Inspections in the Trade Network
The surveillance over the trade network includes inspections carried out both in retail establishments and in wholesale warehouses. The inspections in the retail trade network were pursued on the basis of a plan prepared by the individual CAFIA regional inspectorates, and also within a range of inspections under the command of the headquarters, and a relatively high number of inspections were carried out on the basis of complaints and suggestions received from consumers.
In terms with requirements stipulated in legal regulations, the main concern of inspections was paid to the equipment of the shops according to the assortment of goods sold, to the compliance with sanitary and hygienic requirements in the process of selling, to documents accompanying the goods, correct labelling of food, compliance with the use-by-dates and dates of minimum durability, and last but not least, to the compliance with the temperature regimes designed for the storage of cooled and frozen foodstuffs.
The inspections performed in wholesale warehouses, as in the previous years, focused especially on the imported foods and on the accomplishment of examinations of the nonconforming food samples detected initially during inspections performed in retail establishments.
Graph 3.8. The share of inspections performed in the production premises in the total number of inspections performed between 1999 and 2002
11. 3.9 Suggestions
The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority admitted complaints and announcements from consumers and other entities (bodies of public administration, mass media), forming suggestions for the inspections and, to a considerable extent, determining the priorities of the inspections.
In 2002 CAFIA received 1,477 suggestions. A prevailing number of suggestions were obtained from consumers. Yet higher and higher number of suggestions from consumers was a consequence of more frequently presented results of inspections in mass media and on the CAFIA web site, and also as a consequence of a growing interest of the consumer public in food issues and, of the growing consumer awareness. CAFIA admitted a part of the suggestions from authorities for the public health protection: the Czech Inspection of Commerce, State Veterinary Administration, Department of Czech Police, and utilised also suggestions presented in mass media.
Among the most often received complaints were the inadequate quality of foodstuffs, selling of foods after the expired use-by-date or date of minimum durability, non-compliances with the sanitary and hygienic requirements in the stores, unsatisfactory conditions of storage and false labelling of foodstuffs.
As for the commodities, the suggestions most often concerned fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, delicacies, dairy, meat, and baked products, confectioneries. The complaints about the quality of alcoholic beverages were relatively frequent, unlike the complaints about the quality of non-alcoholic beverages.
The highest number of suggestions submitted related to the foodstuffs sold in smaller stores, the number of suggestions relating to the foodstuffs sold in supermarkets was smaller.
Graph 3.9: Number of suggestions by year
12. 3.10 Sanctions
The CAFIA inspectors imposed penalties on the inspected entities for all non-compliances with the valid legal regulations that the inspectors identified in the course of inspections. In 2002 CAFIA imposed altogether 2,702 penalties in Administrative Proceedings in the total amount of CZK 28,979,100. The rate of a penalty prescribed usually takes into account the seriousness, method, duration and consequences of unlawful action.
The highest number of penalties imposed in Administrative Proceedings represented infringements of the legal regulations (the figure in brackets indicates a number of cases of infringement of a respective regulation, being the reason for a penalty imposed):
- Section 11, par. 1, letter d) of the Food Act (935)
- Section 11, par. 2, letter a) of the Food Act (800)
- Section 10, par. 1, letter c) of the Food Act (748)
- Section 10, par. 1, letter a) of the Food Act (667)
- Section 6 of the Food Act (603)
- Section 10, par. 1, letter b) of the Food Act (554)
- Section 8 of the Food Act (544)
- Section 11, par. 1, letter c) of the Food Act (507)
- Section 11, par. 2, letter c) of the Food Act (333)
- Section 11, letter i), point 2 of the Act on Viticulture and Wine Production (196)
- Section 11, letter i), point 4 of the Act on Viticulture and Wine Production (131)
If multiple non-compliances with different legal provisions were established during an inspection, the cumulative penalty was imposed covering all the non-compliances detected. The number of penalties imposed is therefore lower than the number of the non-compliances with rules and regulations identified.
Bans imposed on the release of food in circulation represent another form of sanctions. In 2002 the total of 17,248 bans were inflicted on food and tobacco products in the value of CZK 54,247,446, of which the share of bans imposed in production amounted to CZK 8,796,940, and the share of bans imposed in trade network amounted to CZK 45,450,506.
13. 4. Laboratory Activities
4. Laboratory Activities
The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority performed physical, chemical, microbiological and sensory analyses in 2002, for the most part in its own laboratories. Four of seven CAFIA laboratories were reaccredited in the course of the year to meet and work in accordance with requirements of the standard EN ISO/IEC 17025, instead of the previously observed standard CSN EN 45001 (laboratories in Prague, Brno, Hradec Králové and Olomouc).
In the second half of 2002 the CAFIA top management adopted a strategic decision to reduce the existing number of seven laboratories to four only, maintaining the present range of analyses and rationalising the number of analyses to be performed with respect to potential positive detections of non-conformances in foodstuffs.
The individual inspectorates participated in transferring the working methods and instruments from laboratories, reducing their operations all through the last quarter of 2002. The laboratories to be closed down were in Hradec Králové (specialised in physical and chemical methods of analyses) and laboratories in Olomouc (specialised both in physical and chemical and also microbiological methods of analyses). Only four laboratories will cover the requests for food analyses in the years to come. The inspectorates also decided on the method of sampling and collection of food samples from the individual regions of the country with respect to capacities of the four laboratories and to elimination of potential sample degradation during transport. Since 1993 CAFIA has been organising, on regular basis, the inter-laboratory comparison tests (the inter-laboratory proficiency testing system – ILPT) that have been included in the National comparison testing system. The organisation and assessment of the ILPT system are held in cooperation with the Czech Accreditation Institute. In 2002 the following rounds of the comparison tests were held:
- Determination of additives in wine (sorbic and citric acids, and sulphur dioxide)
- Determination of synthetic and natural dyes in concentrated beverages
- Determination of iodine and some minerals in food for special dietary uses
- Determination of heavy metals and selected inorganic elements in cans of meat
- Determination of organophosphate and chlorinated pesticides
- Determination of the selected microorganisms
- Classic methods of wine testing (alcohol, sugar, sugar-free extract and volatile acids)
- Determination of fats, proteins, humidity, and ash in meat cans
The CAFIA laboratories regularly take part in the international comparison tests – proficiency testing of the chemical and microbiological laboratories, as stipulated in the standard CSN EN ISO/IEC 17025 and as required by all European National Accreditation Authorities, which is the Czech Accreditation Institute (CAI) in this country (see the guidance note MPA 10-01-01).
CAFIA Laboratiries in
Inter-laboratory proficiency tests – total number of test
14. 5. Certification
Certification of Fruit and Vegetables
The CAFIA inspectors issued certificates for fresh fruit, vegetables and mushrooms. In accordance with the European Commission Directive No 902/2002 of 30 May 2002 CAFIA was authorised to be an official Czech Certification Authority for exports of fresh fruit and vegetables into the countries of European Union. The guideline became effective on 20 June 2002. The scope of certification is to enhance the possibilities of local producers to gain position in the foreign markets. The certification rules apply also to re-export.
CAFIA issued altogether 217 certificates for exports of fresh fruit and vegetables in 2002 (representing 2,750,288 KGs of the certified goods).
Certification of wine
Since 1992 CAFIA has been authorised by the Committee for Wine of the EU Commission to issue certificates for the export of grape wine from the CR into the EU countries. The international certificates were issued on the basis of results of the respective analyses performed by an accredited CAFIA laboratory. In 2002 CAFIA issued the total of 317 certificates for wine exports to the Slovak Republic, Germany, Finland, Croatia, Sweden, Japan, the Netherlands and Belgium (in total 742,317 litres of wine).
Certification in the Russian GOST R system
In the course of the year 2002 CAFIA certified foodstuffs in the GOST R system. CAFIA was granted the accreditation for this system by the authorities of the Russian Federation (Gosstandart, Goskomsanepidnadzor). In 2002 the total of 70 final protocols were issued serving as the source materials for certificates to be issued in the GOST R system (the certificates are issued by the Certification centre Gosstandart, the Information and Certification Centre of the Russian federation in Prague).
CAFIA was to ensure certification of foodstuffs in the non-regulated sphere on the basis of the requests of producers. The certificates were issued, for the most part, for exports of goods; therefore the range of tests to be pursued is determined, as a rule, in accordance with the requirements of a foreign customer. Within the scope of voluntary certification the total of 74 certificates were issued in 2002.
15. 6. Information and Communication System
6. Information and Communication System
The CAFIA internal information system reached a turning point in 2002. It was necessary to make some fundamental steps in order to implement new information strategy, which will place the focus of the inspectors’ activities more on field work so that they will be able to provide on-line data collection for the information system directly in the place of inspection, via the web interface, and to arrange data transmission through GSM technologies to the central data server. The users will have differentiated access rights to the system.
On the basis of an analysis of the information system that was completed at the end of 2001, the system supplier commenced application programming in the new professional information system for the Control and Laboratory Activities (CLA IS). A group of CAFIA consultants produced continually more specific requirements for the system in order to help prepare the application for data uploading by the beginning of 2003. The system is designed as a central intranet application in the Sybase database environment on the basis of the Java Server Pages technology, utilising the BEA Weblogic application internet server and the Crystal Reports application for output reports. CLA IS is certified to comply with the UVIS standards for the existing data elements at the communication interface. The new information system will include modules of the existing information system, such as “Controls”, “Laboratory Activities”, “Complaints” and “Economist”. In connection with the implementation of the new IS, a basic training course was organised for both the users and the system administration.
CAFIA made a considerable investment into the IS hardware in 2002, predominantly into the mobile communication technology (such as notebooks, mobile phones making possible the data transmission). The access rate to internet was also enhanced in number of CAFIA workplaces.
Based on tasks arising from a government resolution No. 624/2001 “Rules, principles and method of inspection of the use of software products”, an inspection was carried out throughout the organisation focusing on the legal use of software applications in CAFIA, and an appropriate internal guideline was issued regulating this particular issue.
The services of corporate intranet are now exploited more often and to larger extent, yet more and more documents are downloaded to the intranet. One can find here, for example, releases of the important decisions made in Administrative Proceedings, CAFIA internal regulations, news about the inspections commanded by the headquarters, planned contaminant controls and current reports on foodstuffs risky to human health.
In addition to the new professional information system for Control and Laboratory Activities, new Personnel and Wage System was implemented in 2002, scheduled to be in operation since the beginning of 2003.
Exploitation of the CAFIA information system, corporate Intranet and Internet considerably enhances not only the information support of inspectors working in the field, but also of the top management in its planning and decision-making processes, and as a consequence, it helps improve efficiency of the CAFIA operations playing an important role in ensuring the food safety and consumer protection.
16. 7. Personnel Training
7. Personnel Training
Training of the CAFIA personnel is carried out in accordance with the Government resolution No. 1028/2001 approving Rules for the organisation of training courses for the personnel working in the state administrative bodies and the Central Government Office. The employees attend mandatory training programs, organised for persons working in the state administration by the Institute of State Administration, and training courses held by the internal and external lecturers that CAFIA arranges for its employees.
The training courses for the CAFIA employees are organised in accordance with a training plan. The plan, which includes professional training, training of managerial skills and language courses, is prepared at the headquarters on the basis of requirements of the individual departments and hierarchically lower organisational units (inspectorates).
The seminars, lectures and study visits organised at the level of headquarters should satisfy the common needs of persons working at the headquarters. They can also attend seminars, study visits and language courses financed from the EU educational programs or organised in cooperation with the control authorities abroad. The inspectorates arrange regional training courses, which they have to organise themselves, based on their needs. The headquarters keeps records of both types of the training.
A particular emphasis is laid on professional training of inspectors. CAFIA, being an important part of institutions assuring coordination of food safety in the Czech Republic, is aware of its importance and pays a considerable attention to this sphere also in training courses organised for its employees. Professional seminars organised in 2002 dealt predominantly with food safety, quality, system of critical points in production (HACCP), and legislation.
Taking into account that inspectors make impression of the whole organisation by their professional conduct during inspections, CAFIA pays large attention also to enhancing their expertise not only at the professional level but also with respect to their communication skills. For this reason a long-term project focusing on communication was initiated in 2002. Its aim is to help the inspectors distinguish better behaviour of different persons they come into contact with during inspections, teach them effective manners, which will strengthen their professionalism in the treatment of persons inspected.
In 2002 CAFIA focused also on the improvement of language skills of its employees. In conformity with an internal guideline that is based on the Government Resolution No 410/2000, the executive staff at the headquarters, as well as a circle of the selected employees from both the headquarters and regional inspectorates, is obliged to pass an exam in languages. Therefore, also in the years to come the language courses will have priority among the training programs.
17. 8. Legislative Activities
8. Legislative Activities
CAFIA legislative activities pursued in 2002 were extensive, and it needs to be noted that the volume of legislative activities will considerably grow from year to year.
Act on the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority
At the beginning of a year the CAFIA legislative activities concentrated specially on the completion of a new act on the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority. The act was published in the Collection of Laws of the Czech Republic under the No. 146/2002, and it has responded to changes arising from new requirements for food inspection in the Czech Republic and to the necessity to harmonise the inspection with Community law. The new act is in full harmony with Community law.
In this context, special emphasis needs to be laid on the fact that the law has enacted an obligation for laboratories, performing analyses of samples for the purposes of food inspection, to comply with the conditions regarding the laboratory operations that are stipulated in the standard CSN EN ISO/IEC 17025. It was initially considered that an executive regulation implementing this act will also laid down requirements for good laboratory practices to be observed in these laboratories, but the Ministry of Agriculture gave up the original intention.
The Act No 146/2002, Coll. of L., brought also a change to the Act No 110/1997, Col. of L., on Food and Tobacco Products and on alteration and amendments to some relevant regulations, as amended (hereinafter only the Food Act). For example, a businessman who is to release fresh fruit, fresh vegetables or table potatoes in circulation has a duty to notify a particular CAFIA inspectorate at the latest on the day the goods are released in circulation or imported.
The Act No 146/2002, Coll. of L., brings one more significant change concerning, on principle, the inspected entities. While in line with the existing legal regulation CAFIA had to impose a penalty always when an infringement of duty stipulated in the act had been determined or proved, the new legislation in effect from 1 January 2003 will be different. For example, if an infringement of duty stipulated in the Food Act is determined, the inspectorate may refrain from imposing a penalty. But only supposing that the following conditions are fulfilled: the illegal act must be remedied in accordance with the corrective action imposed or immediately after such an act was established, and the foodstuff in question is in compliance with the food safety requirements and does not represent a case of consumer cheating, such as the violation of rights to intellectual property (e.g. adulterations).
CAFIA took an active part also in other legislative activities. It is necessary to mention mainly the work on a draft of an executive regulation to implement the Food Act, on testing methods and sampling for the purposes of the food quality and safety control, or on a draft of the executive regulation to implement the act on CAFIA, stipulating the scale of charges for analyses carried out in the CAFIA laboratories for the purposes of food inspection.
Comments and statements
Another sphere of activities relating to the legislative activities is the presentation of comments and statements on diverse legal regulations within the circulation of a draft for comments from internal and external executive departments and state agencies. This was, for example, the case of an executive regulation to implement the Act No 452/2001, Coll. of L., on Protection of the Labelling Origins, the Act No 258/2000, Coll. of L., on Public Health Protection, the Act No 477/2001, Coll. of L., on Packaging, the Act on Administrative Charges, the amendment to the Veterinary Act and an amendment to the Act on General Goods Safety.
CAFIA also produced statements on other written records, of which the most important are, e.g., documents relating to the establishment and activities of Coordination Group for Food Safety or reports on the settlement of issues, such as barriers in undertaking free trade of goods.
Technical Standardisation Committees
The CAFIA employees also took an active part in the technical standardisation committees (hereafter only “TSC”), established at the Czech Standardisation Institute (TSC No. 116 Foodstuffs and TSC No. 5 Quality Control). CAFIA also participates, on regular basis, in the comment procedures to implement the drafts of the Czech technical standards that are created and implemented in the Czech Republic. In 2002 CAFIA presented comments to the total of 102 standards, of which 76 related to the methods of testing and 26 standards related to particular subjects.
18. 9. Cooperation with other authorities and Institutions
9. Cooperation with other authorities and Institutions
The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority cooperates with a number of other authorities and institutions in carrying on its own activities.
CAFIA received a lot of specific data from the Directorate General of Customs Tariffs on food imports from foreign countries, which were useful in the planning of inspections. These data concerned importations of wine or foodstuffs that had to be inspected in connection with crises abroad.
CAFIA collaborated with the Central Control and Testing Institute of Agriculture in the inspections of wine, which is a surveillance body for viticulture (in training of the CAFIA inspectors, in providing information about the newly classified wine varieties, in providing further information necessary for the inspections).
CAFIA extended its cooperation with the State Health Institute and State Institute for Drug Control especially with respect to the inspections of foodstuffs for special dietary uses carried out in 2002.
CAFIA and the Office for Industrial Property cooperated in performing inspections of detergents and soap products to verify the registered trademarks, and with the Department of Police of the Czech Republic in considering the accomplishment of elements of a crime, e.g., in judging if a product inspected was not an adulteration.
On request of the Interdepartmental Committee for the settlement of iodine deficit in the Czech Republic, established at the State Health Institute, CAFIA pursued monitoring with the focus on gaining data about the current situation in the use of edible salt fortified with iodine in the production premises manufacturing baked products. The results of inspection are utilised, as one of the sources, to facilitate settling of the situation of iodine deficit in the Czech Republic.
CAFIA cooperates with other institutions of public administration on regular basis (authorities of the public health protection, Czech Trade Inspection, State Veterinary Administration, Department of Police of the Czech Republic), for the most part in receiving suggestions for inspections on the basis of competences of a particular state body.
19. 10. International Relations
10. International Relations
10.1 International Cooperation
The year 2002 faced considerable alterations in the European food law, which affected also the CAFIA activities. The alterations resulted from a new Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002 lying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and lying down procedures in matters of food safety. The Directive not only defines the scope of legal regulations for food safety but – as its title suggests – gives grounds for he establishment of the European Food Safety Authority and lays down rules for an effective operation of the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) within the European Union. In view of the fact that CAFIA had been chosen as the national contact point for this system, it concentrated all its energies on accomplishing safeguarding measures for the technical equipment and on obtaining the best assessment possible from the European Commission experts who paid a visit to the Czech Republic in June last year as part of their Peer Review. The functional issues of the CAFIA involvement in the RASFF system were discussed at a meeting held in Brussels attended by the CAFIA representatives and some experts from DG SANCO.
Similar reviews pertaining to the CAFIA activities were also carried out in the middle of the last year, focusing on the issues of fresh fruit and vegetables, and GMOs. No less important was the FVO second mission to the Czech Republic dealing with pesticides, contaminants and food hygiene, the objective of which was to assess capability of the local inspection authorities to meet the requirements, laid down in the legislation, in practice. The talks held that were very detailed and to the point, ended at a meeting of the representatives of inspection authorities involved in food safety control in the Czech Republic and representatives of the European Commission held in Prague at the end of November. It was agreed that the period of preparations had come to its end and a new epoch, based on cooperation and partnership, was opened.
Considering a number of legislative changes to food safety control associated with the new policy concept of the European Commission that was outlined in the White Paper on Food Safety issued in 2000, CAFIA commenced regular and detailed monitoring of the EC legal regulations, both those that had already been released and those that have been passing through the stage of approval proceedings. The CAFIA members can find all new and older legal regulations on the company intranet divided in well arranged thematic sections. In view of the fact that not all the EU legal regulations have been harmonised, a special Work Group was established at the Ministry of Industry and Trade whose role is to monitor the so-called non-harmonised sphere of regulations and to ensure compatibility with the basic principles of the EU operation. The CAFIA experts take part in sessions of this group on a regular basis, stating actively their views and opinions.
Upon a request of the CAFIA and upon a following detailed review of the CAFIA inspection procedures from the side of the EU authorities, the European Commission issued the Regulation 908/2002, qualifying CAFIA to issue certificates for fresh fruit and vegetables for the exports in the EU countries. These issues were also a subject matter of discussions held between the CAFIA specialists and experts of the European Commission -– DG Agriculture in Brussels.
In 2002 the CAFIA representatives also took an active part in sessions of some international organisations: they attended a session of FAO/WHO Committee on Food Labelling of the Codex Alimentarius in Halifax, Canada, in the role of observers and, as a full member, CAFIA took part in the negotiations of the Committee on Methods of Analyses and Sampling in Budapest, Hungary, and the Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems, which is organised on a regular basis in Australia. The CAFIA specialists also participated in two FLEP Forum meetings organised in 2002 – the 18th FLEP Forum Meeting held in Ireland and the 19th Forum Meeting held in Austria. CAFIA applied for work in a new Working Party “National Food Authorities” at the 18th FLEP Forum Meeting, and initiated, in cooperation with the Danish colleagues, establishment of a new Working Party at the 19th FLEP Forum Meeting.
The CAFIA experts also took an active part in a meeting of the Czech Committee for Cooperation with FAO. They began, on a regular basis, to monitor commitments arising from the WTO agreements concluded and to collaborate on the monitoring of SPS notifications relating to food safety.
Conferences and Seminars
The CAFIA representatives took part in various international seminars and training courses. One of the most important was a seminar “Food Safety First” that was held in the Netherlands and funded by the Dutch government. CAFIA representatives attended this seminar for the third time. Its main objective was to inform the participants about the food control principles in the Netherlands and the system of food law in the EU countries. The Dutch government also funded a course called “Chain Management and Agricultural Development” focusing on the presentation of principles of providing efficient food safety all through the entire process of the primary production, processing and sales. CAFIA specialists attended this training course for the second time. CAFIA also started taking advantage of the offer of training courses organised by the European Institute of Public Administration in Maastricht. Its representatives participated in a few courses organised by this Institute. Three CAFIA members successfully applied for a ten-day training program on food safety control held in the United States, which was organised and funded by the Cochrane Foundation.
The conferences, which the CAFIA representatives participate in, do not only represent an opportunity for exchanging information and expertise, but also opportunities for establishing informal contacts with representatives of other inspection organisations, research institutes, European Commission or other institutions. The conferences visited by in 2002 were, e.g., the WHO/FAO Conference on Food Safety and Quality held in Budapest, Hungary, and Conferences on Food Safety held in Geneva, Switzerland, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, or in Paris, France.
10.2 EU Projects
In 2002 the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority continued in arrangements and preparation of the Phare project CZ 020502 that is to help increase efficiency of the authority operations and, on the other hand, to help establish a database for communication between all administrative bodies involved in the process of food control in the Czech Republic. The Project takes into account not only further development of the Authority in the form of organising different seminars and workshops, and in the form of consultations with so-called pre-admission advisors, but it also counts on the implementation of an information system, which would connect all the official authorities and would be prepared for future interconnection with the Rapid Alert System that is used in the European Union.
In spring 2002 the EU countries approved the Project and confirmed the EU decision to finance the project in the amount of EUR 2.4 mil, while the Czech Republic will bear the costs in the amount of EUR 0.15 mil as its part of the financial investments. In April 2002 a tendering procedure took place for a supplier of a twinning part of the project, which was won by a Greek company NAGREF (National Agricultural Research Foundation) – a research institution of the Greek Ministry of Agriculture receiving contributions from the State Budget. In the course of summer and autumn the CAFIA and NAGREF specialists worked on the preparation of a Twinning Contract, which would cover all activities to be carried out. Its latest version was submitted to the Delegation of the European Commission in the Czech Republic towards the end of the year 2002. The Project implementation should be initiated at the beginning of 2003 and completed in spring 2004.
QUID Thematic Network
CAFIA is one the main participants in an international project indicated as QUID Thematic Network that is financed and carried out by the European Commission. The project main objective is to create a European network of laboratories enforcing the European Directive on labelling and Quantitative Ingredient Declaration in practice. Just as in 2001, the CAFIA experts took an active part in meetings and operations carried out within the framework of this project also in 2002.
20. 11. Communication with the public
11. Communication with the public
The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority sees the basic principle of its relations with the general public in outspoken, truthful and on time communication. Such an approach aims to provide the consumers and businessmen with reliable information, either directly or through mass media, to inform them about CAFIA activities and – in particular – about results obtained from its activities.
Becoming effective the Act No 106/1999, Coll. of L., on Free Access to Information, as amended, a concept of the method of communication with the public has gradually been worked out, which amplified the interest in information on food safety in the Czech market, improving considerably consumer and businessmen “awareness” of this area of activities.
CAFIA pays large attention to the issues of communication with the public. A new independent Public Relations Unit (PRU), which currently employs three persons.
In addition to the main role, which is enforcing of the Act No. 106/1999, Coll. of L., PRU performs duties associated with the presentation of CAFIA in public (the so-called Public Relations). It can be noted in practice that presentation of the authority activities, of its fundamental tasks, international cooperation and results is exceptionally important also with respect to the general awareness of CAFIA with the public. During 2002 the authority Corporate Identity was successfully carried on, including official web sites, uniform visiting cards of all representatives, personnel and service passes, promotional materials, and promotional video on CAFIA.
The CAFIA web sites represent an important communication tool. They were entirely and fully modernized in the course of 2002 by developing their new graphic design, altering and extending their contents and changing also their functional principle. The new web sites were developed on the basis of an editorial system providing both users and administrators with maximum comfort. Their contents are modern, simple structured and yet highly valuable for its data and pleasant graphics. The editorial system is designed as a web application with a web browser forming the platform of its functioning. The administrative part of the system is operated under the Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 and higher versions. The whole editorial system is divided in two separate, though very tightly combined parts. It also includes a browser, which facilitates searching by key words, authors, etc. By the user responses, the CAFIA web sites rank among the best classified comparable web sites of other public authorities.
The CAFIA web sites are well visited, as the data published here can be of use not only to the consumers and journalists, but also to businessmen. The sites are also published in English version.
Table 11.1: Number of visitors to web sites in the individual months
Number of visitors to web sites in the individual months
Total number of visits
|July||August||September||October||November||December||Total (VII. - XII.)|
|Number of unique visits||529||1772||2954||2298||2028||1755||29336|
|Number of all visits||11856||28194||46805||54205||42707||47242||231009|
Visits to the home page – unique
|Visits to the home page - all||35455|
|Note.1: Visits to the sites have been monitored since July 2002 when the new web sites were activated)|
Table 11.2: The most often read articles in 2002
The most often read articles in 2002
Employment in CAFIA
Act No. 106/1999, job vacancies
Control principles, organizational structure
Excessive sensitivity to foodstuffs, Food for special dietary use and approach to their control
Act No. 106/1999 on Free Access to Information
Press release on the control of instant coffees
Report on the results of the control of instant coffees
Act No. 110/1997 and Decree No. 347/2002, Law on CAFIA and arising changes
Act No. 110/1997, Decree No. 347/2002
CAFIA units competencies, Laboratories, Information system
CAFIA approach to genetically modified food
Articles for consumers written by the CAFIA specialists on specific foodstuffs
The most often read sections of the year
|Information for consumers – food column||News|
|Documents to be downloaded||
Information for consumers – food column
Approaches to inspection
CAFIA activities (Inspection)
|Approaches to inspection||
Documents to be downloaded
|Act No. 106/1999, Coll. of L.||Information for consumers – chemical agents in foodstuffs|
|Information for consumers – chemical agents||Organisational Structure|
|Information for consumers – general advice||Information for consumers – general advice|
|Note.2: unique visits-total number of users who visited the web sites, all visits – all even the repeated visits to the web sites|
Consultations of university studentsThe Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority was also a well-sought administrative body for the consultations and excursions by university students, especially students of economic schools, such as the School of Economics and Management at the Masaryk University in Brno, the Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry in Brno, or the School of Economics in Prague.
In 2002 PRU published the total of 58 press releases, of which 8 provided prompt information in connection with the catastrophic floods in Bohemia, the others informed about the results of inspections and further up-to-date information. Two press conferences were held – on food safety and on the results of inspections of fresh fruit and vegetables carried out in the trade network. CAFIA took an active part in the International Gastronomic Fair Salima 2002 held in Brno where the CAFIA representatives provided visitors with information in two places (their own information stand and at the stand of the Ministry of Agriculture).
The PRU responded to 1,008 queries received from the general public in 2002, of which 354 came from various mass media. The total of 1,230 articles, news and reports were published in papers, radio and television. With effect from October 2002 CAFIA has been collaborating with the Czech TV on a broadcasting for women called “At home alone” and with the daily paper “MF Dnes”, giving expert advice in the preparation of sections for consumers dealing with food issues. The CAFIA specialists contribute also to other consumer “columns” in various mass media.
Data provided in compliance with Act No. 106/1999, Coll. of L., on Free Access to Information:
- number of satisfied applications for information - 1008
- number of appeals from decisions submitted received - 0
- copies of essential parts of each court decision - 0
- results of Administrative proceedings about penalties for non-adherence to the law without specification of personal data - 0
- Other information relating to the enforcement of this law - 0
Graph 11.1.1: Number of unique visits by months
Graph 11.1.2. Number of all by months
Graph 11.1.3: Number of all visits in 2002
21. 12. Conclusion
The year 2002 was very important for the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority for number of reasons, and in particular, because the new Act No. 146/2002, Coll. of L., on the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority, was drawn up, submitted and passed. This new act is in full harmony with legislation of the European Union.
The basic principle of the CAFIA activity rested on – as in the previous year – food control, which is a continual monitoring of compliance with microbiological requirements for foodstuffs and requirements for the compliance with the contaminants contents in foods. CAFIA also dealt with controls of falsely labelled foodstuffs (“adulterations”) and compliance with other binding requirements stipulated in legislation regulating the release of food and tobacco products in circulation.
In the course of 2002 the total of 22,794 individual inspections were carried out, of which 11,593 were performed in retail trade network; 8, 923 in production premises; 2,179 in wholesale stores and 99 elsewhere.
CAFIA imposed in Administrative Proceedings held in 2002 altogether 2,702 penalties for the violence of legal regulations, which in total amounted to CZK 28,979,100. When assessing the amount of a penalty special account is taken of the serious nature, way, duration and consequences of the particular illegal act.
The non-conforming food and tobacco products represented the total value of CZK 54, 247,446 and CAFIA imposed the total of 17,248 bans on the release of food and tobacco products in circulation. The non-conformances detected in the inspections of production premises reached CZK 8,796,940 and those carried out in trade network reached CZK 45,450,506.
The activities falling within the sphere of international relations also carried on successfully in 2002. CAFIA took an active part in meetings of the important international institutions and organisations, and participated in a number of specialised seminars and conferences. CAFIA also carried on communication with the European Commission, especially in the arrangements for the Phare project and in the ongoing harmonisation of the Czech food law with the European Union law.
In the course of 2002 CAFIA commenced arrangements for the Phare project that, on one hand, deals with the interconnection of surveillance and other inspection authorities in the Czech Republic in a unified comprehensive information system for food safety and, on the hand, strives for the implementation of Quality Management System in accordance with ISO 9001:2000, which should be certified the following year.
In 2002 CAFIA accomplished work on its new Information System that will unify and entirely interconnect the CAFIA inspection and laboratory activities, ranging from the work of inspectors carried out in the field up to the final evaluation and settlement of the results obtained.
CAFIA also intensified its communication with the public in the course year. In the middle of 2002 new modernised CAFIA web site was introduced, the Public Relations Unit was consolidated by recruitment of a new personnel and CAFIA commenced reinforcing its Corporate Identity.
22. 13. Abbreviations and Explanations
13. Abbreviations and Explanations
- AO - Authority Office
- Aw - indication of water activity
- B. cereus - Bacillus cereus
- BEA Weblogic - application intranet server
- BSE - bovine spongiform encephalopathy (“mad cows disease”)
- CAFIA - Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority
- CHEK - CHEK list – System of international proficiency tests within IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) for the control of food and feed organised by the Dutch Inspectorate for Health Protection, Groningen)
- CIA - Czech Institute for Accreditation, o.p.s.
- CLA IS - Control and Laboratory Activities Information System
- CLCD - Control, Laboratories and Certification Departments
- Codex Alimentarius Commission - International Committee for Coordination of Standards and Regulations for Production, Trade and Food Control
- olif.bact. - coliform bacteria
- Coll. of L. - indication of a Collection of Laws of the Czech Republic
- CPM - total number of microorganisms
- ČR - Czech Republic ČSN
- Czech Technical Standard, in compliance with Act No. 22/1997, Section 4
- ČSN EN - Czech National Standard, respecting the European standard
- DG AgricultureAgriculture Directorate – General DG SANCO (Health and Consumer Protection Directorate General )
- DNA - deoxyribonucleic acid
- DON - deoxinivalenol (mycotoxin)
- E. coli - Escherichia coli
- EC - European Commission
- EN - European Standard
- EPD - Economic and Personnel Department
- ES - European Community
- EU - European Union
- FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of UN
- FAPAS - The Food Analysis Performance Assessment Scheme – chemical analyses (the International Laboratory Proficiency Testing – chemical analyses)
- FEPAS - The Food Evaluation Performance Assessment Scheme (the International Laboratory Proficiency Testing – microbiological analyses)
- FLEP - Food Law Enforcement Practitioners (Association of representatives of the European Inspection Authorities enforcing food laws in practice)
- FVO - Food Veterinary Office
- GMO - genetically modified organism
- GOSKOMSANEPIDNADZOR - State Committee for Sanitary and Epidemiological Surveillance of the Russian Federation
- GOSSTANDART - National Standard of the Russian Federation
- GOST R - Certification System in the Russian Federation
- Government Resolution No. 1028/2001- Government Resolution determining the method of preparation of personnel working in the administrative authorities
- Government Resolution No. 410/2000 - Government Resolution determining the system of language exams and system of proving language qualification of the selected personnel working in administrative authorities
- GSM - wireless phone network
- HACCP - System of critical points in production
- IEC - International Electro engineering Commission (International Organisation for Standardisation in Electro Engineering)
- ILPT - International Laboratory Proficiency Testing
- IS - Information System
- ISO - International Organization for Standardization
- LEIFAD - Law, European Integration and Foreign Affairs Department
- Milk ferm. bact. - milk fermentation bacteria
- MPA 10-01-01 - indication of a CIA Guidance Note
- NAGREF - National Agricultural Research Foundation (a research institution of the Greek Ministry of Agriculture receiving contributions from the State Budget – supplier of the twinning part of PHARE project CZ 020502)
- PCR - Polymerase Chain Reaction
- PRU - Public Relations Unit
- QUID - Quantitative Ingredient Declaration
- QUID Thematic Network - European network of laboratories enforcing the Directive 79/112/EEC on Labelling and Quantitative Ingredient Declaration in practice
- RASFF - Rapid Alert System for Foodstuffs and Feed (a system operating in the EU countries)
- RR sója - Roundup Ready soya (genetically modified soya to be released in circulation based on an approval issued by the Department of Environment and Ministry of Health)
- S. aureus - Staphylococcus aureus
- SPS - Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
- TSC - Technical Standardisation Committees
- UVIS - Office for the Public Information Systems
- WHO - World Health Organization
- WTO - Word Trade Organization – the international organisation helping establish rules for the international trade