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CAFIA Control Activities

Within its competencies, CAFIA checks foodstuffs, raw materials for their production, agricultural and tobacco products. The above competences apply to production, storage, transport, and sale (including import).
This comprehensive conception of inspections allows focusing efficiently on commodities, analytes or places with the highest estimated number of deficiencies, or where the maximum effect of inspection could be expected. It is therefore a targeted inspection, whose objective is not only monitoring but also the protection of economic interests of both consumers and the state – consumers’ protection from foodstuffs that are unsafe, misleadingly labelled, sold despite their expired use-by-date or of unknown origin. Conditions during manufacturing and sale comprise integral parts of targeted inspections.
The concept and implementation of food inspection are based on new legislation (in particular on Act No. 110/1997, Coll. on Foodstuffs and Tobacco Products, on the amendment to Act No. 146/2002 Coll. on CAFIA, or on Act No. 552/91 Coll. on State Control, as amended), and are in accordance with principles of food inspection applied in countries of the European Union.
The term food safety means the check of microbiological requirements and presence of contaminants (e.g. chemical substances, additives, pesticide residues, etc.).
The term quality control means the check of analytical features (e.g. the contents of fat and sugar, humidity, etc.) or check of sensory features. Product labelling and its correctness are assessed separately.
When making a decision about the target of an inspection, the maximum information available is taken into account. The decision-making criteria for performing an inspection can be of either general and broadly defined applicability (general criteria), or they are based on some specific findings (specific criteria).

Priorities are developed on the basis of the Risk Assessment principles:

  • commodity position in the consumption basket
  • commodity risks
  • analyte risks
  • inspected entity (volume of its production)
  • new foodstuffs on the market.

Specific criteria for making a decision on inspection to be performed:

  • findings from previous inspections
  • data analyses in the Information System
  • actual findings of inspectors in the field
  • findings of other public authorities (Sanitary Service, Veterinary Administration, Police, Customs Authorities, Trade Licensing Office)
  • consumer suggestions
  • suggestions of mass media (press, radio and television) and advertising
  • findings of foreign partner organisations, such as: DGCCRF, FIS, FDA
  • European Commission recommendations
  • information from the RASFF system etc.

Focus of CAFIA inspections according to analyses

During food inspections, CAFIA inspectors take samples of individual product lots. Each sampling is documented in a Protocol on Sampling that shall be signed by the inspected person. Only samples taken by an inspector are delivered into laboratories and are analysed according to the focus of the inspection. Food samples that are delivered to an Inspectorate by a consumer as a constituent of their complaint serve as a suggestion for control and they do not become the subjects of analyses.
This mainly applies to analyses on microbiological requirements and contents of contaminants in the meaning of applicable legislation (both the mentioned cases refer to proof of food safety in the analysed foodstuff).
Analytical and sensory analyses (thus analyses of quality features, whose parameters are laid down and are binding) are further carried out, and the correct labelling and dates of durability and use-by-dates are also assessed.
With regard to the inspection flexibility, it is sometimes necessary that decisions about some samples can be made immediately on the spot without laboratory analyses. That relates, for example, to the inspection of use-by-dates, best before dates, correct product labelling, and the quality of fresh fruit and vegetables, etc.
The inspected person is informed about the results of the inspection in the form of an Inspection Protocol.
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