Bratislava, August 14 (TASR) – Food inspectors conducted 25,000 food checks over the first six months of 2018 and found shortcomings in 2,363 cases, representing 9.4 percent, stated Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Gabriela Matecna (SNS) at a press conference on Tuesday with Slovak Veterinary and Food Administration director Jozef Bires in attendance.
According to Bires, the fines imposed on offenders amounted to more then €3 million in the first half of 2018.
Most issues were discovered with fruit and vegetables, namely with apples, peppers, tomatoes, grapes, cabbage and Savoy cabbage. In addition, dangerous salmonella bacteria was found in eggs and mechanically separated poultry meat.
Agriculture Ministry’s foods and trade department general director Milan Lapsansky, who was also present at the press conference, said that the popularity of Slovak food has been growing, resulting in various speculators trying to take advantage of the situation. “Special inspections focusing on tracing the origin of fresh fruit and vegetables discovered serious misconduct in this regard,” he said. Food inspectors found cases in which the origin of the goods was concealed or falsified. These included carrots and parsley from Poland and the Netherlands as well as tomatoes from Spain, Italy and Turkey. Such goods were forbidden to be further distributed.
According to the ministry, these particular flaws will be dealt with in administrative proceedings, with the fine possibly amounting up to €100,000.
Lapsansky went on to say that the ministry intends to take severe action against the practices of the speculators who buy fruit and vegetables in wholesale such as Cash&Carry and sell them further to end customers while claiming that it’s their own product.