Bulgarian Food Safety Agency Launches Mass Store Checks

Business | September 10, 2012, Monday // 12:05|  views

Over one metric ton of expired meat and other food items were discovered recently in a large grocery chain in the Bulgarian capital Sofia. File photo

Bulgaria's Food Safety Agency is launching Monday mass checks of grocery stores and supermarkets for expired food.

The news was reported by the Head of the Food Control Unit of the Agency, Dr. Lyubomir Kulinski.

1 200 kg of expired meat and other food items were discovered recently in a large grocery chain, he said, speaking for the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR. The checks will last one month.

On September 7, food safety inspectors closed a store from the "Evropa" (Europe) chain in the Razsadnika district of Bulgaria's capital Sofia. The expired products will be destroyed. The store chain was fined with BGN 10 000.

This was the third time the owner of the said store was busted selling expired food.

Dr. Kulinski explains that stores are mandated to remove all items that are expired, store them in refrigerators with a sign that they cannot be consumed and then send them to the incinerator, according to the contract they have.

He, however, pointed out that expired food is rarely found by health inspectors.

"The sanctions for repackaging and selling expired food are among the highest while this gross violation is very easy to establish from the paperwork," the expert further explained.

At the end of 2011, the Agency proposed amendments in the Penal Code for merchants selling expired food, including jail time on grounds it threatens the health and even the lives of customers.

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Tags: food safety agency, grocery, stores, supermarkets, checks, probe, expired, food, meat, fine, Evropa, chain


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