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Food Under Control

Send Print Download added: | 2013-03-01 16:34:28

Food Under Control

Food sold in Poland is monitored regularly by several different institutions which check to make sure that EU quality standards are followed.

Poland, like the other EU member states, has a system of official inspections and other measures, encompassing all stages in the production, processing and distribution of food. Making sure that people in Poland buy food that is safe are: the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate (PIS), the Trade Inspection (IS), the Agricultural and Food Quality Inspection (IJHARS) and the Veterinary Inspection (IW).

These institutions check things such as whether fresh fruit and vegetables fulfill Polish and EU quality requirements. The aim of setting trade quality standards for fresh fruit and vegetables sold directly to consumers is to enable the elimination of poor-quality products from the market. Also, the presence of goods of diverse quality on the market-falling within different quality classes-is conducive to increased competitiveness and better prices for better products, which increases the profitability of production.

Based on a European Commission regulation from 2007, EU member states are obligated to carry out inspections of fresh fruit and vegetables at all stages of trading, checking imports from third countries, exports to third countries and trade within the EU. Each member state appoints the appropriate inspection services to carry out these tasks.

In Poland the tasks connected with checking the quality of fresh fruit and vegetables required by EU regulations, based on the law on the organization of the fruit and vegetable, hops, tobacco and dry feed markets, have been entrusted to IJHARS. This institution conducts inspections checking compliance with the trading standards for fresh fruit and vegetables on the internal market, at the point of export, at the point of import and it also runs a database about traders selling fresh fruit and vegetables on the market. IJHARS inspections check compliance with the requirements set down in detailed trading standards and in the general standard.

The bodies authorized to conduct inspections involving food safety regarding meat are the IW (inspecting the production and sale of meat with the exception of the retail trade) and the PIS (meat in the retail trade). Both institutions have the right to conduct official inspections aiming to prevent things like the sale of food - including meat - that is hazardous to consumer health. If problems are discovered, firm steps are taken to eliminate the problem or prevent dishonest entrepreneurs from continuing their operations, especially as regards repeat offenders. Moreover, Poland has a system of measures and penalties that can be applied when laws on food are violated. The penalties are effective, proportional and deterrent.

Polish food, including animal products, sold on the European Union market and in third countries meets all the requirements of the food law, which makes it completely safe. Thanks to this and its great flavor, Polish food has won respect among consumers in the European Union and beyond. The results of many inspections carried out by inspectors from the European Commission's Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) and the fact that Polish food is increasingly appreciated and popular among consumers from other countries confirms that its safety and trade quality is maintained at a very high level.

There is a special focus in Poland on the development of organic farming as an environmentally friendly sector guaranteeing the highest level of wellbeing for animals as well as yielding products of high quality. The system of inspection, supervision and certification in organic farming in Poland is efficient, effective and guarantees consumer protection. This was unequivocally confirmed by the FVO audit conducted in September 2012 which gave positive marks to the way this system functions. Support for this sector is systematic and well organized, proceeding in accordance with the Action Plan for Organic Food and Farming in Poland for 2011-2014.

The principle of overseeing food "from the farm to the table" set down in European law is fully implemented in Poland.  
Source: The Warsaw Voice