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Ponta Delgada ,  May 08, 2017

Inspections on food safety, public health and consumer rights grew 20.54% in 2016

The inspection actions carried out by the Regional Inspectorate of Economic Activities (IRAE), the administrative authority supervised by the Government Vice-Presidency, registered a growth of 20.54% in 2016 compared to the previous year, covering 93% of Azorean villages.
According to the Activity Report, these inspection actions covered the areas of food and economic safety.
As for food safety and public health, the document highlights the compliance with food safety plans (HACCP) and the tobacco law, the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors and the compliance with the new food labelling rules.
With regard to the economic area, price fixing, reduction of sales prices, licensing, book of complaints and misleading actions were the most verified areas.
The main targets of the inspection actions were retail activities (1,855), hotels, restaurants and beverages (558) and markets (235).
Overall, there were 396 cases of administrative misconduct involving infractions related to 129 legal documents. These illegal situations were mainly identified in the areas of food safety, transport and sale of bread, general and specific hygiene requirements, licensing, complaints and labelling.
Regarding the inspection activities on criminal offences, there was a drop in the overall number of cases. The situations identified concerned cases of counterfeiting, corrupt food, speculation and fraud on merchandise.
As for misconduct and crime processes, the infractions detected are mostly of  economic nature (76%); the number of public health cases remains low.
In 2016, IRAE also continued to focus on the fight again shadow economy, with a total of 2,457 inspections carried out on all islands, which allowed it to surpass the 43% target set for this year.
In regard to the complaints by consumers, 236 investigation procedures were instituted; the same number as in previous years.
IRAE is the regional administrative authority with expertise in the area of food safety and economic oversight. It is responsible for the assessment and communication of risks in the food chain as well as for the discipline of the exercise of economic activities in the food and non-food sectors, through the supervision of compliance with regulatory legislation.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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