Czech controls on olive oil have found two-thirds of samples were non-compliant.
The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority (SZPI) focused on the quality of olive oils on the domestic market.
Overall, 67 percent of evaluated samples failed to meet the requirements of European legislation. The most severe findings were olive oils that did not correspond to the extra virgin label when assessed and were of lower quality. Two samples matched the category lampante oil, which is not meant for retail sale and is intended for further processing.
The Czech Republic is not an olive oil-producing country, but it sent samples to an accredited laboratory in Slovenia. The analysis confirmed that of the 21 samples evaluated, 14 were unsatisfactory. These came from Spain, Italy, and Greece. The oils were not extra virgin for ten samples as stated on the label, but lower quality oils. In six cases, inspectors found deficiencies in the labeling.
The aim was to check whether extra virgin and virgin olive oils from different countries met EU regulations’ physical, chemical, and sensory parameters and labeling requirements.
SZPI said findings show claims on some product labels are misleading domestic consumers.
“Regular inspections of olive oils show that products imported into the Czech Republic often fail to correspond to the declared category in terms of their characteristics. The inspections also suggest that importers underestimate the ability of the supervisory authorities in the Czech Republic to assess the quality of olive oils,” said agency officials.
SZPI has ordered sellers to withdraw non-compliant lots from the market and will initiate proceedings to impose fines.
Salmonella in meat findings
SZPI also warned consumers about frozen goose meat contaminated with Salmonella.
The product, from Hungary via Germany, has lot code 231330, Tranzit-Food Kft as producer, and the best-before date is Sept. 30, 2025.
Inspectors took the sample at one of the sites of Kaufland Česká Republika in Prague. Lab analysis confirmed the presence of Salmonella Senftenberg.
SZPI has informed the European Union’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), ordered a market withdrawal and advised consumers not to eat the implicated batch.
The agency previously reported two lots of chilled chicken meat from Ukraine via Slovakia was contaminated with Salmonella.
Two samples of Tesco chicken breast fillets from different stores were positive for Salmonella Infantis. Products had use-by dates of October and September, so they were no longer on the market, but SZPI said the warning was issued as people might have them at home in the freezers. The agency started an administrative procedure to impose a fine.
Inspectors seize meat products
In December, the State Veterinary Administration (SVS) uncovered the sale of meat products through the social media site Facebook. Prague veterinary inspectors and police confiscated more than 180 kilograms of food of unknown origin.
Inspectors made a controlled purchase after an alert about suspicious advertising in the foreign-language community on Facebook. At the arranged meeting in Prague, more than 150 kilograms of pork and 30 kilograms of other meat products were seized. These goods were not marked, and the seller did not have documents relating to proof of origin.
Proceedings will be initiated against the suspect. Placing food of unknown origin on the market can result in a fine of up to Czech Koruna 50 million ($2.2 million).
Another operation at an Asian market in Brno found violations of regulations on selling products of animal origin. This included food that may not be sold in the Czech Republic, the sale of food of unknown origin, and sausages from an illegal production plant.
In a freezer of one outlet, veterinary inspectors found four packages of frozen silkworm larvae, which are not allowed to be sold for human consumption in the European Union.
Officials found a crate of bird carcasses, but the species could not be determined. The vendor said they were quails, but there was no proof of origin. Inspectors uncovered eight kilograms of chilled sausages, also without documents. They were thought to have come from the seller’s own domestic production operation.
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