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Official News

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Food Market Monitoring To Be Continued: As Instructed By Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, Head Of State Food Safety Service Presents Cheese Market Survey Findings


Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan – Good Afternoon, dear colleagues. We will begin today’s meeting with food safety issues.

As agreed, we will take up the matter from time to time, because we have taken up most important obligations in the field of food safety and must guarantee that food products are safe and of premium quality in the Republic of Armenia. Unfortunately, we still have serious problems.

Today we are introducing a system of monitoring in Armenia so that the authorities could conduct periodical checks with food producing entities, and if violations are detected, to inform the public about the deviations. Mr. Bakhchagulyan said a study is complete in the cheese market.

Head of State Food Safety Service Abram Bakhchagulyan - Thank you

Dear Mr Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen, as instructed by the Prime Minister, we carried out checklist-based checks and inspections with 59 cheese manufacturers in September and October. The checklist for the cheese is being tested currently. There are 84 requirements stipulated in the checklist. We identified irregularities with 59 economic entities, including breaches to health and hygiene standards, labeling and storage conditions.

The audits banned 18 economic entities in the context of a particular production or in the context of the entire production. These subjects are: sole proprietorship Kamo Vahanian, LLC "Ani-Marie", a private entrepreneur Karekin Kochinyan, Susan Kochinyan, individual entrepreneur Armen Sukiasyan, individual entrepreneur Edward Bozoyan, Ltd. "The main Amasia cheese factory", LLC "Vardanush" LLC, "and Sedrak Tigran, "the company" Kalinin cat ", LLC" Duminyan Eghbayrner ", LLC" Mastarachedo ", LLC" Igit "Company" AMM ", LLC" Katnamterk Van ", the company" Kyuru "Samvel Tunyan individual entrepreneur and the individual entrepreneur Samvel Baloyan.

Samples were taken during the inspections which as tested in the laboratory proved positive in intestinal bacteria, mainly available in “Chanakh.” 5.5 tons of cheese was destroyed, and these companies are currently engaged in work on the implementation of hygiene under the supervision of the relevant inspection services. The aforementioned 59 entities were subjected to administrative penalties to a total amount of AMD10.45m.

Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan - What health hazards are contained in these bacteria?

Head of State Food Safety Service Abram Bakhchagulyan - Mr. Prime Minister, we have the technical regulations allowable presence of E. coli. This level is exceeded, causing the population problem the digestive system. I should note that these are the companies that have a small production, small businesses, and they do not provide sanitary standards, which are presented in the relevant decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia.

Due to regulations, we also have a problem with marking. As companies daily produce about 60-65 kg of cheese, the cheese is not properly labeled, and party products, as such, can not see that we were able to organize a review of this delivery. Are all tasks, and produced in 59 companies now fully cheese must be necessarily labeled. Was opened and the issue so that we can track products and to ensure its withdrawal from the market.

Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan – That is there is a direct threat to health.

Head of State Food Safety Service Abram Bakhchagulyan - Yes, the digestive system is at stake.

Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan - First of all we have to do the names of the manufacturers of the vowels, the companies, the names of cheese, so that our citizens have not used them, and if he faces in selling these types of products, then abandoned them. What is the next step?

Head of State Food Safety Service Abram Bakhchagulyan - Currently, these entities are under the supervision of all production ceased. They must ensure that the health and hygiene requirements. After the release of this trial production, which will undergo laboratory examination, and if there is a deviation, they will be allowed to resume production, which we will notify our society again.

Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan - What is the situation with the major manufacturers?

Head of State Food Safety Service Abram Bakhchagulyan – The monitoring carried out with large manufacturers showed that they are more conscientious and their products are not affected. because they have the necessary safety control systems and can provide control over the implementation of hygiene. Our problem is the small entities, which lack in such systems.

However, we occasionally take control of these industries. I should note that, for example, among those registered in the Lori region of economic entities were other farms that produced cheese, but they were not registered, and in these companies, we could not in accordance with law to inspect. That is, they were not registered as business entities.

Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan – Are the applicable sanctions sufficient, or we must think of more stringent measures?

Head of State Food Safety Service Abram Bakhchagulyan - Mr. Prime Minister, we believe it is necessary to make the law more stringent, as we can not stop the production of a particular type of product through mere exercise of control and monitoring.

Only when we reveal hazardous foods, we can suspend the manufacture or production of certain products because of failure to comply is due to the presence of the hazard. While the laboratory analyses have proved positive with only 18 out of a total of 59 economic entities, tomorrow this can well be the case with the remaining 41 producers, because in most cases they are due to the failure of public health standards, and in connection with this, our legislation establishes only administrative responsibility.

All entities have faced administrative penalties. They were given the task to eliminate the violations, but the law does not set a limit to fix them, what percentage of violations should be removed so that they can once again begin production.

Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan - What does international experience show?

Head of State Food Safety Service Abram Bakhchagulyan - International experience suggests that before starting a production any manufacturer of food products of animal origin must register with the authorized body.

International experience also proves that production should be based on good hygiene and manufacturing practices, which is the basis of the preliminary analysis of hazards and critical control points. If authorized by the control authority determines that there are critical points, without taking product samples and laboratory analysis activities of this company shall be suspended until compliance. That is, in the laboratory examination is not necessary, because the source of danger, as such may be in different time periods. This is the reason that in this case the products are often not recognized as dangerous as a result of the laboratory examination, and by the failure of the production of hygiene.

Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan – What sector is coming next?

Head of State Food Safety Service Abram Bakhchagulyan - Mr. Prime Minister, this year we also have to carry out planned inspections with some 70 companies, concerning both the sales and the manufacturing process.

Included is the meat industry, however, the coverage is not complete because we have planned inspections for 2013 as well.

Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan – Well, please pass this information to the media.

Head of State Food Safety Service Abram Bakhchagulyan - Thank you

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