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CAFIA releases list of unsafe websites selling foodstuffs and food supplements


The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority (CAFIA) currently launched a new section of the Food Pillory ( named Unsafe Websites. This service provides consumers with information on websites where CAFIA found out that foodstuffs, in particular food supplements were offered in contradiction to Czech and EU legislation. Foodstuffs targeted at Czech consumers are concerned – goods are presented in Czech language, the sale is offered in CZK and delivery into the CR is possible. However, the operators are based mostly outside the EU territory or their seat cannot be identified and CAFIA’s options to enforce legislation are thus very limited.

Following information is available at each website after clicking on the list:

◾ Name of the Internet domain or the URL address

◾ Status of the website to a particular date (date to which information is provided)

◾ Offered foodstuffs

◾ Brief description of the website

◾ What to pay attention to (why is the website “unsafe”)

◾ Print Screens or another depiction of selected parts of the website

E.g. warning that the operator failed to provide all required contact details or these details are missing at all, websites are registered outside the territory of the CR and the holder of the domain name cannot be found, unfair business practices are used on the websites, mandatory information on the foodstuffs is missing, the operator indicates unauthorized health and medical claims in contradiction to legislation is information about particular aspects of violation of legislation or why the websites are risky.

At the present time, offer and sale of foodstuffs via Internet is sharply growing and this phenomena is associated with new practices threatening consumers. The aim of CAFIA is thus to warn consumers against risks of sale via Internet, in particular when the operator is seated outside the EU territory, which is the situation when supervisory bodies have only limited possibilities how to enforce the law and when such purchase may have negative financial or even health consequences for consumers.

Mobile application Food Pillory was updated together with launching of Unsafe Websites on the Food Pillory. This service is available for mobile phones with OS Android and it will available for mobile phones with iOS in the near future as well.

CAFIA recommends all consumers purchasing foodstuff via the Internet that they should get familiarized with information indicated in the CAFIA guidebook Purchasing on the Internet and How to Purchase Foodstuffs on the Internet. Launching the new service on the Food Pillory means extension of information on unsafe websites which had been released on the CAFIA website in the past.

The Food Pillory project has been launched in 2012 to inform consumers on the results of CAFIA inspection activities. Since that time, CAFIA has been releasing detailed information on 4,600 lots of unsafe foodstuffs on the domestic market, more than 770 premises closed for unacceptable hygiene conditions, results of thematic inspection activities and further useful information. Information from the Food Pillory can be gained also through a newsletter, the mobile application mentioned above and also on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

The Food Pillory project won the award of the Czech Internet “Křištálová lupa” (Crystal Magnifying Glass) in the category “Openly Beneficial Service”, namely in years 2012, 2013 and 2014. In last mentioned year, mobile application “Food Pillory” won the survey “Mobile Application of the Year” in the category “Application for Better World”.

Author: Mgr. Pavel Kopřiva , phone : +420 542 426 633