Quality of fruit in Madeira’s markets and fairs motivates complaints

The Regional Authority for Economic Activities reported that it has received several complaints related to practices in markets and fairs in the Region, with regard to cutting and adding sugar to fruit for consumption in stands and/or stands of municipal markets.

In a note posted on Facebook, ARAE explained the following:

-The cutting of fruit and the addition of sugar, their display and distribution for tasting by customers, constitute actions for the manipulation of foodstuffs in the light of Regulation (EC) no. 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 29 th April 2004, concerning the hygiene of foodstuffs, which requires compliance with the rules of good hygiene practices contained therein, and specifically those contained in chapters II and III of annex II of the aforementioned Regulation.

-This practice, even if the information that the fruit contains added sugar is provided, in written, visible form and in several languages, is a practice that conflicts with food safety and licensing standards.

-The availability of samples of (handled) fruit for consumption by several citizens simultaneously, as well as the display of fruit open in an area for people to circulate, without any packaging or refrigeration through, for example, a refrigerated showcase, embody practices potentiating the risks of contamination, dust or other contacts, which can affect the health of consumers.

– Utensils are also a source of contamination and must comply with the rules contained in the above-mentioned Regulation, and must be sterilized after each use, in the case of reusable utensils, or discarded after a single use, in the case of utensils made of biodegradable material.

– The situations described may substantiate the practice of administrative infractions for non-compliance with the general and specific hygiene requirements provided for in Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004, punishable by a fine of up to 44,890 Euros.

“In this sense, ARAE is available for any clarification of doubts on this matter to the economic operators of these spaces and, in any case, it will act accordingly if it detects or has news of the practice of said administrative and/or criminal infractions”, advanced.

From Diário Notícias

Are these people at the ARAE actually for real, this has been going on for years and years, and just now they seem to notice it. It’s just unbelievable, and like anything and everything, nothing will be done.