Food Safety in the Czech Republic

Food Safety system chart

The largest volume of activities in issues of food safety in the Czech Republic has been provided by the organisations within the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Health. Further important partners are except government offices representatives of supervisory organisations, scientific committees and panels, and consumer organisations, that means members of the inter-ministerial Food Safety Coordination Unit. 


The Ministry of Agricultural
is a central competent authority for agricultural, food industry and for issues of veterinary care, phytosanitary care, foodstuffs and animal protection.

The Food Authority was established as a part of the Ministry of Agriculture in 2005 accordance with the Concept of Food Industry in the Czech Republic for the period following the Czech Republic accession to the European Union (2004 - 2013).

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed in the Czech Republic (RASFF) has been effective since 1 march 2005.

The tasks fulfilling was provided by respective members of the Food Safety Coordination Unit. Its members are informed on the work of the European Food Safety Authority, on activities of Working Groups established by the Co-ordination Group and on activities Scientific Committees. Interministerial Food Safety Co-ordination Unit was established in 2002 in conformity with the Strategy to Assure Food Safety in the Czech Republic. The objective is primarily to co-ordinate the activities of individual ministries and to establish priorities, to ensure mutual co-operation between relevant competent authorities performing official control, Scientific Committees, consumers and state administration, and to establish co-operation with national food safety institutions in EU Member States and with the EFSA.

There are five Scientific Committees in the Czech Republic – for the veterinary field, for phytosanitary and environmental matters, for issues of animal nutrition, for food and for genetically modified food and feed. In the past period the mutual communication among the Scientific Committees was deepened and improved.

The coordination of the monitoring and control programmes - data are handed over to the application by organisations, which cooperate on the providing for the contaminants monitoring in food chains within the Ministry of Agriculture sector (State Veterinary Administration of the Czech Republic, Central Institute for Supervising and Testing in Agriculture, State Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority). 

 

 

Food Safety Co-ordination in the Czech Republic

The central government authorities of the CR

Each resort performs its tasks under its jurisdiction, and the individual departments work together in ensuring the food safety. Activities provided by the relevant departments.

  • Ministry of Agriculture
    - Coordination of the food safety system
    - Supervision of production of food and feed
  • Ministry of Health
    - Assessment of health risks
    - Supervision of public catering
  • Ministry of Environment
    - Monitoring and assessment of the environmental status
  • Ministry of Interior
    - Crisis management
  • State Office for Nuclear Safety
    - Radiation monitoring 

The inter-ministerial coordination is carried out by the  Coordination Group of Food Safety (CG)
The following organs of the FS system operate within the framework of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA):

* Secretariat of Coordination Unit

* Supervisory Bodies:
   Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority (CAFIA)
   State Veterinary Administration 
   Central Institute for Supervising and Testing in Agriculture (CISTA) 

* Scientific Committees: 
   Veterinary 
   Animal Nutrition 
   Phytosanitary and Environment 
   Genetically modified food and feed

* Food Safety Information Centre
* Monitoring of extraneous substances in food chains

 

 

Workshop on African Swine Fever surveillance and wildlife management

divoka prasata SVS

 

The Workshop on African Swine Fever surveillance and wildlife management is organised within the Better Training for Safer Food initiative.
  
The workshop will take place from October 25th to 27th in Prague – Czech Republic, and will be held in English language.
  
The same training was already carried out last year in Minsk from November 16th to 18th 2016, and delegates from Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia took part in the training. We kindly request that all countries nominate at least one participant responsible for wildlife management (officials from national agencies dealing with forestry /wildlife management).
  
This is related to the need to strengthen links and facilitate communication between Veterinary Services and other stakeholders in the country.   

 

 

The first occurrence of African swine fever in history has been confirmed in the population of wild boars in the Czech Republic

Testing has proven the disease in two dead wild boars in the Region Zlín. The source of the disease, as well as other circumstances, are under investigation performed by the State Veterinary Administration of the Czech Republic (hereinafter referred to as the “SVA”) currently. All age categories of domestic pigs and wild boars can by infected by the disease agent; however, the disease is not transmissible to humans or other animal species. 

The SVA is currently preparing emergency veterinary measures. Based on these measures, a zone (so called “infected area”) will be established around the place of finding of the animals. In the zone, a ban on hunting of wild boars will be applied and the monitoring of wild boars will be intensified. At the same time, a census of all domestic pigs kept in the area will be performed and keepers will have to notify all changes in the health state of domestic pigs. In addition to that, they will have to inform the relevant Regional Veterinary Administration (hereinafter referred to as the “RVA”) on any planned domestic slaughtering of domestic pigs.  

“It is obvious that our veterinary administration operates effectively since it has quickly detected the source of the disease. For the present, we have a reason for watchfulness but not for excessive fears. If the disease spreads after all to commercial holdings, we would require especial compensations for losses of profit of our keepers from the European Commission”, said the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Marian Jurečka. “All measures taken are aimed particularly at the prevention of intrusion of the disease to holdings keeping domestic pigs”, added the Director General of the SVA, Mr Zbyněk Semerád.  

In accordance with legislation which is currently in force, an expert group consisting of veterinarians, hunters, experts in animal diseases, as well as experts in wild boars, will be established. The group will assist to the relevant RVA at the analysis of animal disease situation, defining of infected area and implementation of eradication plan.  

ASF is an acute, highly infectious disease of pigs similar to classical swine fever. It is characterised by a high, almost 100%, mortality. Warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) was the original resource of the disease from which soft ticks of the Ornithodoros genus were infected. The disease manifests by a high fever up to 42 °C which can, according to the course of the disease, last even several days. First signs appear at the decline in the temperature. Animals show lassitude, breathing with difficulties, loss of appetite, haemorrhagic diarrhoea and vomitus. In the population of wild boars, the virus is spread in particular by a direct contact but also by feed, water and articles.  

Since African swine fever is a dangerous contagious animal disease, binding rules apply at its occurrence in the territory of an EU Member State. As any other Member State, the Czech Republic will have to send within 90 days after the confirmation of the first case to the European Commission a plan of measures for the eradication of the disease in defined infected area.  

African swine fever has for several years been present in certain countries of the former Soviet Union, in Baltic states, in neighbouring Poland and lately also in Ukraine. Already from seventies of 20th century, it has been also present in Sardinia from which, however, it does not spread elsewhere. Totally 467 samples were tested serologically and virologically to the end of the year 2016, all with negative results.  

 

 

Workshop on African Swine Fever (ASF) in the Czech Republic

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Workshop on African Swine Fever (ASF) in the Czech Republic organised by National level

Due to the Evolution of the Epidemiological Situation of African Swine Fever in the Czech Republic (the first positive case was detected on 26 June 2017), we are fully aware of the seriousness of the situation. The State Veterinary Administration launched the Epidemiology Training Programme for hunters, representatives of hunter associations, forestry management in response to the recent incursion of African swine fever (ASF) into the Czech Republic. 

The State Veterinary Administration is organising for hunters a cycle of trainin sessions in the fields of African Swine Fever. More than 1,000 hunters were trained in the Zlín region from July to August.

African swine fever (ASF) is a highly transmissible disease affecting pigs and wild boars with serious socio-economic and wildlife consequences. The disease can spread rapidly, irrespective of national borders. ASF is not a human health threat. No vaccine or specific treatment is currently available for ASF. Therefore, disease control is mainly based on early detection and the application of strict sanitary and biosecurity measures.

Workshop on African Swine Fever (ASF) in the Czech Republic organised by Community level

EC is planning to organise a one day workshop on surveillance and wildlife management for African Swine Fever in the Czech Republic (also in Germany, Austria).

TARGET PARTICIPANTS: only Czech, mainly hunters, representatives of hunter associations, forestry management and veterinarians. The number of participants can be between minimum 35 to maximum 50.  TOPICS: The topics to be addressed during the workshop include ASF in wild boar and management of wild boar population, wild boar data collection in ASF infected areas, best practices in biosecurity and implementation of GFTADs recommendations. GFTAD - Global Framework for the progressive control of Transboundary Animal Diseases.
DATE: October 12, 2017, from 9:00 to 17:30
FUNDING and ORGANISATION: The costs and organisation of experts, meeting room, lunch, coffee break and interpretation will be covered by contractor. On the other hand, the project does not cover costs for travel and accommodation of participants.
LOCATION: NH Collection Olomouc Congress, Legionářská 21. 779 00, Olomouc, Czech Republic) 

The training will be held with simultaneous interpretation in Czech so as to reach also hunters and veterinary officials that are not fluent in English.