Minister Wants Tougher for Sanctions for Import of Substandard Food


BRATISLAVA, June 5, (SITA) -- Quality checks of imported goods and sanctions for importers of foodstuffs of poor quality will be stricter, promises Agriculture Minister Lubomir Jahnatek. He told SITA news agency that the stricter control system will introduce checks already on roads and highways in cooperation with the Interior Ministry. Jahnatek said that his plan is to introduce a similar system as is used in neighboring countries. “Trucks will be stopped and respective veterinary inspector will take samples for an analysis", said the minister. He also wants to be tough on those who circumvent central distribution points for imported foods that will be under permanent control there.

The minister further announces more intensive controls in retail outlets. Checks will be executed not by one or two inspectors but also so-called group controls will be sent to a supermarket. Ten to twelve controllers will check a store who will have flexible work time so that they will be able to work during the night as well. “We are interested mainly in stores with night operation as we think that just at that time there is a big problem with quality and supplying of non-quality foods. The ministry reportedly already identified retail chains that offer low quality food products. “So we will concentrate on these retail chains in the first round,” the minister underscored.

The new law on retail chains will not deal with the issue of quality of foodstuffs or with how to increase the share of local foods in stores but shady practices of retail chains for which mainly Slovak producers pay will be at the center of attention. The law will thus solve problems ensuing from abuse of dominant positions on the relevant market, explained the minister.