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Couple of general recommendations for pre-Christmas shopping


Couple of general recommendations for pre-Christmas shopping

Probably no Christmas Eve’s table can not get along a bowl of Christmas sweets. However, there is not time enough to bake nine or twelve sorts of sweets in today’s hurried times. And that is the turn of finished products from bakeries and confectionary shops offering a broad supply of such products. Various sorts of fine and durable bakery products, certain confectionary products and sweets, collections of cookies as well as products made of Linzer, whipped, cocoa, nut, almond and coconut pastry or meringue sweets and gingerbreads often with fillings, chocolate products, etc. are offered as Christmas sweets.

What to pay attention to

Although these products do not pose a high risk as regards health unwholesomeness, it is good to apply certain rules when purchasing such products.

Use by date or best before date

Consumers should always verify whether the chosen sweets are expired or the use by date (or best before date) will expire even before Christmas. Certain sorts of cookies are produced during the whole year or in advance before Christmas and that is why cautiousness will pay off, in particular to customers purchasing these products just before Christmas or during Christmas. Exactly in that time expired products are offered by some sellers with discount. After expiration of the date indicated on the labelling, only foodstuffs labelled with best before date could be sold (“best before date by”). However, they have to be unwholesome, offered separately from the another assortment with clear information that these foodstuffs are expired. The Act on Foodstuffs forbids sale of foodstuffs with expired use by date (wording “Use by date”).

Conditions for storing and placing on the market

If such conditions are set by the producer, they have to be kept during the whole distribution, not only during the sale itself. It is recommended that the prescribed conditions are kept also by consumers at home. Christmas sweets are often purchased in advance and some quality modifications as regards taste and smell (slightly rancid) could occur due to wrong storing at home, for example at higher temperatures.
The Act on Foodstuffs orders all food business operators placing foodstuffs on the market that they have to discard goods of inappropriate quality, damaged, deformed or contaminated. It should not happen that broken-to-pieces, crumbled or even burnt sweets would be offered for sale.

Composition of products

Pursuant to legislation, a list of all used ingredients and also additives, e.g. colourings shall be indicated on the labelling.

Most frequent mistakes in labelling

Foodstuffs that can be ranked among Christmas sweets are usually of more durable character and they pose lower risk, as regards microbiology – of course, if confectionary products are not concerned - then the situation is different. The most frequent deficiencies detected by the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority during inspections of such fine or durable products are their incorrect labelling, namely missing or incorrect information on the labelling.