Inspections start for food manufacturers
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, February 9The National Agency for Food Production started inspections on food production companies yesterday. According to the agency meat and milk production companies will be checked from the beginning and during 2011, 200 food production companies will be inspected.
Governmental control over food production came into effect on January 3 2011. In 2010 the agency checked 51 companies exporting products. “In 2011 companies will not be fined for violating the rules, but will be warned and given recommendations to follow. Companies in breach of the rules will be fined from 2012. The monitoring process, which has already started is aimed at eradicating the shortcomings that exist in the field,” stated the Minister of Agriculture, Bakur Kvezereli. He also mentioned that the buildings housing six regional offices of the National Food Agency will be completed during the first half of 2011, “which is also a very significant step forward for more effective activities in this area.”
According to the head of press service of the agency, Veriko Gulua, from the beginning those companies with higher risks will be checked. She commented, “We have already selected 200 companies and have already started inspections at the company Mitana. To begin with meat and milk companies will be checked. There will be various parts to the process: examining the manufacturing process, sanitary standards, checking documents and if deemed necessary by the inspector there will also be checks of the laboratories. We will also observe how the given recommendations are adopted.”
In addition to the scheduled company inspections the Agency has also has the right to carry out spot checks but only in one case, “the Agency is not allowed to decide by itself to carry out spot checks of the companies. For such checks court permission is required,” said the Head of Food Safety Department Davit Koberidze.
According to the Agency, from 2012, if a company is found to have violated the rules then it will be given recommendations and a sensible term in which to make improvements; if the company does not comply with the given recommendations during the given timeframe, it will be fined.