NEWS

Food checks to be tightened

A Development Ministry committee to be set up next week is aimed at improving the efficiency of food testing by boosting coordination at the local and government level, the ministry said yesterday in response to a series of critical reports by European Commission inspectors regarding Greece’s food quality monitoring standards. According to ministry sources, the committee will coordinate the activities of the Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) with prefectural units that conduct checks on food wholesalers and retailers. The idea is for prefectural inspectors, who answer to the Interior Ministry, to work more closely with the Development Ministry, which oversees EFET. The system of testing food imports is more comprehensive, as all shipments are stopped at the border. The ministry noted a 17 percent increase last year in imported food deemed unfit for human consumption: some 471 tons of food – chiefly nuts and rice – compared to 400 tons last year.