Bulgarian Agri Minister Vows Harsh Fines for Food Safety Violators

Business | August 15, 2011, Monday // 11:48|  views

Bulgaria's Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, promises to be strict with all grocery stores, regardless of their size and market share. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarians in general fear strict sanctions and for this reason fines for grocery stores and supermarkets violating the rules will be increased significantly.

The statement was made by Bulgaria's Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, in a Monday interview for the TV channel bTV.

"In the last few days we witnesses violations by large and respected store chains. We will be strict with everyone, regardless of their size and market share," Naydenov warned.

The Minister further announced that he was ready to propose a law for sanctions for stores selling food after the expiration date or returning it to the manufacturer, with fines of BGN 10 000 and closure of the facility in case of a repeat violation, compared to the current BGN 2 000 to 4 000 and BGN 4 000 to 6 000, respectively.

Naydenov voiced strong disagreement with the public and media opinion that the recently established Food Safety Agency is useless, saying its inspectors conducted over 10 000 probes so far, issued hundreds of fines and closed a number of facilities.

Last week several large supermarket and grocery chains – Billa, Fantastico, and 345, were fined for returning chicken meat beyond the expiration date to the producers, which is banned by the law.

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Tags: sanctions, chains, supermarkets, grocery stores, Miroslav Naydenov, Agriculture Minister, violations, violators, safety, food, fines, Agency


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