The agency responsible for ensuring food safety is the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MoFAL).
The food produced in the country, import and export is subject to official controls by this Ministry.
These controls include all the stages the animals from which the raw material is produced; their feed; the plant and its seed in the field until consumer is reached.
It is the duty of the food business operator to provide safe food. It is also the responsibility of the MoFAL to monitor these enterprises and to take measures to
protect the consumer and public health.
MoFAL publishes regulations, communiqués, and other regulations to determine procedures for food and food chain operations. Later, it performs official checks in line with the rules established in these regulations
The official controls in this context are very general:
On-site control by the control staff of the enterprises,
Sampling and analysis of produced products and raw materials when necessary
Re-analysis of the second (witness) sample taken during the control if the analysis results are objected by the food business operator
Penalties, if necessary, are made up of a series of transactions involving the closure of the business, the seizure and / or destruction of inappropriate products.
Official controls are made on the basis of risk and are carried out at regular intervals taking into account the type of product produced and / or the conditions of the operator.
Risk based controls roughly means more frequent supervision of risky products or enterprises which have had intensively inconvenient results in the past.
Foods Complaints Mechanism
Official controls are performed by routine checks carried out by MoFAL, as well as on suspicions and complaints.
The complaints control system takes action by consumers’ report to ALO174 about the products they are having problems with.
In this case, the food establishment is inspected on-site, particularly by sampling the products which have the mentioned and problematic lot number,
and these products are checked in the official laboratories and processed according to the result.
What is important here is that Consumers give the right information about their complaint. The name of the operator, the name of the product and the lot number on the package must be stated in the complaint. This information is important for effective control.
To take the sample directly to the Food, Agriculture and Livestock Provincial Directorates or District Directorates and ask for analysis is not the correct
procedure to make a complaint. Samples opened and taken by other person rather than the control officer cannot be subject of official inspection.
Official analyzes are carried out only on products that have been received by the control officer, sealed and sent to the laboratory.
For this reason, ensuring that the product and / or the operator you complain about is inspected on-site by
control officer will provide the correct complaint and auto control mechanism.
Our task as consumers:
To reach the information when necessary such as brand, producer, lot number by particularly choosing packaged products;
To ask the mandatory label information while buying unpackaged products.
These data will be needed in case we have problems.
Rules Regarding Official Controls
MoFAL follows certain rules when performing official checks. 5996 Veterinary Services, Plant Health,
Food and Feed Law set the basic rules for the provision of food safety. In accordance with this law,
many regulations and communiqués published in the Official Gazette specify food safety rules and official
control procedures in the both foodstuffs and basic raw materials used for these foodstuffs such as plants, animals and feed.
In addition, there is a list of legislation called "Turkish Food Codex", in which we see that many food items based on this
law are written on the label, and which reveals the technical and hygienic criteria of the produced foods.
All official controls ensure that compliance with this rule is checked
The Turkish food codex both sets out special rules for the products (e.g. the amount of cocoa in chocolate, the amount of fruit in the jam),
and determines subjects such as how to pack it, what to label, what colorants and additives will be in which foodstuffs, what is the maximum pesticide residues in plant products.
In particular, while establishing rules on matters such as additives and residues,
the safety studies done by internationally recognized institutions are taken into
account and the internationally accepted limits are stand by. (See additive and chemical risks.)
As a rule, during the establishment of the Turkish food codex, the opinions of the related parties
are taken and they are settled and published in the Official Gazette by the official authority, MoFAL
In addition to the products produced in the country,
the same rules applied in the domestic market are also applied to the products coming from abroad (imported).
Official checks are carried out by MoFAL according to the product type both on file basis and customs.
Foods sent abroad (exported) but returning to the country for various reasons are subject to official control according to the rules applied for products coming from abroad and appropriate or suitable products are permitted to re-enter.
The application of the same rules in these three areas ensures equal food safety requirements for products produced domestically, imported or exported and returned to the country.
Penalties in Official Controls
According to the results of the official inspections made by MoFAL, in accordance with the Law No. 5996:
Cash fines are imposed,
Whenever necessary, it is possible to stop business until the enterprises makes up the shortcomings of the operations,
The products are collected by the food business operator from the market,
The products or raw materials are confiscated,
The property of the products is passed to the public,
The products are destroyed when necessary
In some cases, the prosecutor's office makes a criminal complaint.
In addition, the official checks made by the MoFAL identify the enterprises that apply imitation and adulteration of foodstuffs that are designed to deceive the consumer and disclose them besides other penalties.
Imitation: is to copy a foodstuff showing some of the same characteristics as shape, composition and qualities from the original even though in reality they doesn’t exactly match.
Adulteration: That all or some of the elements and main nutrients that are essential to the nutrition are removed or changed in an unlawful manner or that another substance which does not carry the same value is added as if it were the same substance.
These two processes actually cause the consumer to buy a different product for himself. For this reason and to protect the consumer, the food enterprises and products that have been found to produce such products has announced by MoFAL for 30 days from its official website, They are also reported in various newspapers. Following these disclosed businesses and products is an important source of information when determining consumer preferences.
The duty of the consumer in official controls
As consumers in order to protect our and others health:
To choose the packaged products,
To verify registration or approval number of the operator on the packaging,
To ask for mandatory labeling information is absolutely required in the products sold unpackaged.
These steps guarantee that we will receive the products inspected within the official control system mentioned in this section.
Businesses who produce products which are sold without label information and / or without a registration / confirmation number on the label (that we call under the counter) are those that have not been registered or approved by the MoFAL and their products are not included in the official control mechanism. Staying away from the products they produce is very important for your health and others’ in your community in both short and long term. It should not be forgotten that many diseases can be caused by food.
Click Microbiological risks - click on chemical risks