Czech Republic – In a sweeping food inspection initiative, the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority (SZPI) have exposed a concerning olive oil quality scandal and issued warnings about Salmonella-contaminated frozen goose meat.
The revelations shed light on misleading product labels and illicit meat sales through social media platforms, emphasizing the need for stringent food safety measures.
Shockingly, 67% of evaluated olive oil samples on the Czech domestic market failed to meet European legislation standards, unraveling a widespread olive oil quality scandal.
The most severe findings involved olive oils labeled as extra virgin, which, upon assessment, proved to be of lower quality. Two samples even matched the category of lampante oil, unfit for retail sale and intended for further processing.
While the Czech Republic doesn’t produce olive oil, the unsatisfactory samples originated from Spain, Italy, and Greece. Importantly, the scandal highlighted misleading claims on product labels, deceiving domestic consumers.
SZPI promptly ordered sellers to withdraw non-compliant lots from the market, signaling a robust response to protect consumers from deceptive product claims.
The Authority is set to initiate proceedings to impose fines, sending a clear message that misleading food labeling will not be tolerated.
Salmonella threat in frozen goose meat
A separate alert warned consumers about Salmonella-contaminated frozen goose meat from Hungary via Germany, with a specific lot code, producer details, and a best-before date. Lab analysis confirmed the presence of Salmonella senftenberg.
SZPI informed the European Union’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), ordered a market withdrawal, and urged consumers to avoid the implicated batch.
In a parallel operation, Prague veterinary inspectors and police cracked down on the illicit sale of unmarked meat products through Facebook, confiscating over 180 kilograms of food of unknown origin.
Proceedings will be initiated against the suspect, with potential fines of up to Czech Koruna 50 million (U.S$2.2 million) for placing food of unknown origin on the market, reports Food Safety News.