News

2021 m. December 06 d.
To wrap up the end of 2021, the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) gathered experts from different Lithuanian science, research, and risk assessment institutions in a joint event where the SFVS reviewed the experience of working with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), further possibilities for cooperation, and shared ongoing projects in the areas of food safety and risk assessment. The global Covid-19 pandemic and African Swine Fever (ASF) have also been identified as major challenges for this year. Deimante Biknerytė, Senior Advisor to the Director of the SFVS, says: ‘It must be no surprise to say that 2021 was extraordinary, that the global pandemic changed all our agendas and taught us to work differently, adapt to virtual communication, become smarter in managing information systems, learn how to manage projects remotely. We discussed these challenges and the work of the year – our project activities with experts from Lithuanian science, research, and risk assessment institutions. We — the SFVS — in cooperation with EFSA, managed to successfully implement a large-scale information campaign on ASF. I am glad that EFSA has mobilised scientists for joint work, and I believe that their scientific insights, assessments and recommendations will help countries to protect themselves and find solutions to stop the spread of ASF in Europe, thus protecting the economy from the financial loss caused by this communicable disease.’ According to the advisor, the SFVS is EFSA’s contact point in Lithuania, whose main mission is to assist the European Agency in bringing together national scientific risk assessment organisations and to encourage them to get involved in EFSA's activities. ‘I would like to recall EFSA's motto for this year ‘Trusted science for safe food’. EFSA is an organisation that provides an independent scientific advice on food-related risks. EFSA’s remits are quite wide-ranging, including the area of food and feed safety, nutrition, animal health and welfare, plant protection and plant health. EFSA’s new strategy is designed to deliver on the objectives of the Green Deal and the new Farm to Fork Strategy. At national level, we will work to bring together national scientific risk assessment organisations and also to contribute to the achievement of the set objectives’, — concludes D. Biknerytė. Representatives of the SFVS, the National Food and Veterinary Risk Assessment Institute, the Centre for Health Training and Disease Prevention, the State Plant Service under the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Department of Plant Biology and Food Sciences, Faculty of Agronomy, Academy of Agriculture at Vytautas University took part in the remote annual meeting.  
2021 m. November 16 d.
Raising a number of questions and discussions about the peculiarities and requirements of food labelling, we have summarised and answered the most relevant questions for the consumers and businesses. The appropriate food labelling is important to enable a person to choose which product to buy and consume, which is more nutritionally appropriate, and how to avoid unwanted allergens and food additives. The labelling of products is quite a complex and strictly regulated matter, primarily due to the fact that various food ingredients and additives can have unequal effects on different people.   What is the mandatory food information on the package of a prepacked product? When prepacked foods are sold, the following information must appear on the package: the name of the food; the list of ingredients; substances that may cause allergies or intolerances; the quantity of certain ingredients or categories of ingredients (if applicable); the net quantity of the food; the date of minimum durability or the “Use by”… (date); any special storage conditions and / or conditions of use; the name or business name and address of the food business operator; where applicable, the country of origin; instructions for use, where it would be difficult to make appropriate use of the food in the absence of such instructions; a nutrition declaration; if alcohol is labelled, the actual alcoholic strength by volume of beverages containing more than 1,2% by volume of alcohol must be indicated. The mandatory labelling information on the food package or on a label attached to the packaging must be provided in Lithuanian. The information must be accurate, clear and easy to understand for the consumer, and must not be misleading, particularly: •  as to the characteristics of the food, in particular its nature, identity, properties, composition, quantity, durability, country of origin or place of provenance, method of production or preparation, •  by attributing to the food, effects or properties which it does not possess, • by suggesting that the food possesses special characteristics when in fact, all similar foods possess such characteristics, in particular by specifically emphasising the presence or absence of certain ingredients and / or nutrients, • by suggesting, by means of the appearance, the description or pictorial representations, the presence of a particular food or an ingredient, while in reality a component naturally present or an ingredient normally used in that food has been substituted with a different component or a different ingredient.   How to present the information about the allergens on the label of prepacked products? The substances and products causing allergies or intolerances (listed in Annex II to Regulation 1169/2011) must be clearly distinguished in the list of ingredients (other font, style or background colour). In the absence of the list of ingredients, allergenic or intolerant substances / products must be indicated on the package or on a label attached to the packaging, using the word “contains”.   Different expiry dates of food on the packaging of products The shelf life is the information provided by the food manufacturer on the extent to which the food will remain safe and of good quality when stored under the specified conditions. The expiry date is indicated as “Use by” (for microbiologically perishable foodstuffs) or the date of minimum durability as “Best before” (this indication means that the product will remain in optimal condition throughout the period indicated, e. g. will not expire, and is mainly related to food quality: taste, texture, aroma, appearance). Regulation 1169/2011 sets out detailed requirements for how these dates are to be indicated. "Best before…" is written when the day is specified in the date or "Best before… (end)" when on frozen meat, frozen meat preparations and frozen unprocessed fishery products must also be indicated the date of freezing or the date of first freezing if the product has been frozen for more than once: “Frozen… (date)”. The date is written as follows: the day, month and year.   Are there any requirements for the font size of the labelling information? The mandatory particulars shall be given on the package or on a label attached to the packaging in such a way as to be clearly legible, in a font with a character height (lowercase letters) of 1,2 mm or more. In the case of packaging or containers the largest surface of which has an area of less than 80 cm2, the x-hight of the font size must be at least 0.9 mm. Which foods are not required to provide information on the durability date? Is not required to indicate the date of minimum durability for the following products: -  fresh fruit and vegetables, including potatoes, which have not been peeled, crushed or similarly treated; this derogation shall not apply to sprouted seeds and other similar products such as legume seedlings, -  wines, liqueurs, sparkling wines, aromatised wines and similar products obtained from fruit other than grapes, and beverages falling within subheading 2206 00 of the CN obtained from grapes or grape must, -  beverages containing 10% or more by volume of alcohol, - baked or flour confectionery products which, depending on their composition, are normally consumed within 24 hours of manufacture, - vinegar, - edible salts, - solid sugar, - confectionery products consisting almost exclusively of flavoured and / or coloured sugar, - chewing gum and similar chewing products. In which case should the distributor be indicated on the label? Is it necessary to indicate the distributor in Lithuania, if the manufacturer is indicated on the label? In accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council<...> (Article 8, Paragraph 1), the name or business name and address of the food business operator must be provided. Therefore, if the manufacturer is indicated on the label, the name of the distributor would be the additional information to the consumer, but this is not mandatory. Why may some product names not correspond to their composition, for example, "Doctor's sausage" does not contain a doctor, "Lads’" sausage does not contain lads, the sweets "Swallows" contain no swallows, the biscuits "Chanticleer"– no poultry, etc.? The provisions of the European Union law do not, in principle, prohibit the use of fictitious names, if they do not conflict with the case law of the European Court of Justice and do not mislead the consumers, but in all cases the labelling of specific foods must be legal, i. e. the name prescribed by law or, failing that, a descriptive name (a sweet, a sausage, a biscuit, etc.). In addition, when choosing a product, the consumer evaluates the totality of the information provided about it (e. g. the statements used, the symbols, the drawings, etc.). The legislation provides the data of mandatory information, assessing the totality of which allows the consumer to make a decision on the choice of the product.
2021 m. November 08 d.
During a meeting between a delegation led by the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania, Kęstutis Navickas, and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the certificates to export 4 additional categories of Lithuanian meat products to USA.  According to Mantas Staškevičius, Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) visiting the U.S., Lithuania has been exporting Lithuanian beef and pork products, such as various types of cooked sausages and canned meat, to the U.S. since 2016. Two years ago, the SFVS requested an extension of the list of meat products. Following a decision of the competent authority, Lithuanian meat companies were granted the right to export cold-smoked pork and beef ham, various types of sausages, dried sausages and heat-treated pork dumplings. ‘The approval of the new meat product categories is good news for Lithuanian meat processing companies. Also, this is a significant recognition for the Service, as the extension of the list of new meat products shows that the competent authorities in the U.S. have a positive view and confidence in our veterinary control’, commented Mantas Staškevičius, Director of the SFVS. Mantas Staškevičius also attended a meeting with Michelle Catlin, Head of the International Coordination Unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The meeting focused on important technical details related to granting the export licence for additional categories of Lithuanian meat products to the U.S. The remaining procedures for obtaining export licence for Lithuanian egg products were also discussed with Ms Catlin. In April this year, the U.S. FDA informed that the assessments for egg products have been completed and the remaining procedures are in progress until the decision is confirmed. During the meeting, the USDA representative assured that every effort would be made to speed up the final steps in granting Lithuania export licence for egg products to the U.S. According to the SFVS, almost 5,000 tonnes of dairy products, over 400 tonnes of fish products, 160 tonnes of meat preparations and canned products, and more than 50 tonnes of culinary products were exported to the US in the first nine months of this year.
2021 m. November 05 d.
Inspections carried out by the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) show no detected infringement related to the quality or safety of honey during the bee season of this year. Ninety-four samples of honey were selected from Lithuanian apiaries, points of sale and honey consignments imported from third countries. Residues of veterinary medicinal products, pesticides, heavy metals, and compliance with the technical regulation on honey were inspected. The inspection results were found to be in line with the legislation.   Just as with local honey suppliers, the SFVS also inspects the quality of honey imported into and exported from Lithuania. The quality is described in the Technical Regulation on Honey approved by the Minister for Agriculture of Lithuania and must comply with. No quality defects were detected this year, whether in domestic or imported honey. According to the data of the State Enterprise ‘Agricultural Information and Rural Business Centre’, there are about 216,000 bee colonies currently registered in Lithuania.   Honey: a sweet substance produced by bees (Apis mellifera) from the nectar of plants or from secretions of living parts of plants or excretions of plant-sucking insects, which the bees collect, transform by combining with specific substances of their own, deposit, dehydrate, store, and leave in honeycombs to ripen and mature.   Honey consists essentially of different sugars, predominantly fructose and glucose as well as other substances such as organic acids, enzymes and solid particles derived from honey collection.    When buying honey, the consumer should always check for the origin of the honey, which must be indicated on its label together with the name of the country of origin. It should be noted that during packaging there are cases of making honey mixtures by mixing honey of producers of several countries brought to the manufacturer. The labelling of honey may therefore, in accordance with the requirements of the Technical Regulation on Honey, contain the following indications, which the consumer should pay attention to: • ‘Blend of EU honeys’ means that honey was produced by blending honey produced in apiaries from several EU countries (e.g., Polish and Lithuanian, etc.). • ‘Blend of non-EU honeys’ means that honey was produced by blending honey produced in apiaries from non-EU countries (e.g., Chinese and Ukrainian, etc.). • ‘Blend of EU and non-EU honeys’ means that honey was produced by blending honey from both EU countries’ and non-EU countries’ apiaries (e.g., Lithuanian and Chinese, etc.).   To get higher quality honey, it is worth making sure that it has not been subjected to high-temperature treatment before pre-packaging. Most Lithuanian beekeepers pack honey for sale immediately after it has been picked in order to ensure that the product is kept natural.    Attention should also be paid to the shelf-life, colour, consistency, and even smell of honey. Make sure that the honey is not covered in foam, as air bubbles in honey or its sour taste may indicate that the honey has fermented.   The quality of honey depends on the region in which honey was harvested, the natural conditions, the intensity of farming, and the predominant crops. Its colour and composition depend on the plants from which the bees collect nectar. The colour of honey may also depend on the time of the year, the species of bees, the age of the combs. The colour of honey varies from colourless to dark brown. The consistency may be liquid, viscous, partly or entirely crystallised.   Ideally, honey is stored in a dark, cool place in sealed glass containers. The room where honey is stored must be dry, well ventilated, and its humidity should not exceed 60 %. Honey may be stored in a cellar or in a refrigerator. The optimal temperature for storing is 5-10 °C. It is not advisable to store honey in zinc, copper, or iron containers. Plastic jars should be used to store honey only for its immediate consumption. Only mature honey from sealed whole combs with a moisture content not exceeding 20 % is suitable for long-term storage. According to the standards, there is no expiry date for honey. The expiry date is set by the honey producers themselves (usually 1 year), and the ‘best before’ date must be indicated on the labelling.
2021 m. November 03 d.
After the evaluation of the export data on animal food products collected by the State Food and Veterinary Service (hereinafter – SFVS) for the three quarters of this year, there was recorded the overall export growth of 12%. During the nine months of this year, there were exported 23 thousand tonnes more than in the same period last year. In total, Lithuanian producers exported more than 191 thousand tonnes of animal food products to non-EU countries during the three quarters of this year. The maximum 20 % growth of exports is shown by the export of fish and fish products. They were exported to non-EU countries mostly from all groups of animal food products, i. e. more than 90 thousand tonnes and it amounted to almost 20 thousand tonnes more than in the same period last year. The main export market in the fisheries sector remains Ukraine. Poultry (over 6.3 thousand tonnes) accounted for the largest quantities of exported meat (Vietnam remained the main export country), as well as beef (over 2.7 thousand tonnes), which was mainly exported to Norway, and compared to the same period last year there was a double jump of pork - almost 300 tonnes being exported, with the largest quantities found in the Republic of the Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire). A total of over 1 thousand meat products were exported – most of the products of our country's producers were imported from Tajikistan (over 400 tonnes), in the second position – the USA (almost 150 tonnes). "We hope that the veterinary certificate for the exports of salmonids to Australia, harmonised by the SFVS this month, will contribute to even greater growth in exports of fish and fish products in the near future. At the moment, our expectations are quite high in the direction of the USA. We expect that the bilateral meetings of the competent authorities in Washington and Chicago this week will speed up the harmonisation of export authorisations for egg products and the expansion of the range of meat products, which will open additional opportunities for the country's exporters to strengthen or establish new trade relations with the USA", – commented the SFVS Director Mantas Staškevičius. Milk producers have maintained a stable 6 % growth of exports, more than 87 thousand tonnes of milk and milk products were exported, i. e. over 5 thousand tonnes more than in the same period last year. Comparing the exported quantities, the largest export volumes belong to milk powder (over 24 thousand tonnes), cheeses (over 21 thousand tonnes) and canned milk (over 13 thousand tonnes). The main export markets in the dairy sector remain Libya, China, Malaysia, Israel. Besides, there is a growing trend noticeable in milk exports to Japan and India. Also, while evaluating the third quarter of this year, a sharp increase in exports of cheese products is observed, the exported quantities were almost 10 times higher (exported over 11 thousand tonnes) than in the same period last year. According to the quantities of products of animal origin exported to non-EU countries during the three quarters of this year, there were exported over 1.2 thousand tonnes of culinary products, i. e. almost 500 tonnes more than last year at the same time. The main directions of culinary products remain Russia, Ukraine, Japan and China. During the three quarters of 2021, there were exported over 300 tonnes egg products. The most popular export destinations – Japan, Qatar, Vietnam. Honey was mainly exported to the USA market, but this sector is also actively interested in new countries, where export certificates are expected to be harmonised soon, and thus greater possibilities to be opened up for Lithuanian honey producers.  

Events

2015 y. March 06 d.
Events

Naudinga informacija

Naujienos

2021 m. December 06 d.

To wrap up the end of 2021, the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) gathered experts from different Lithuanian science, research, and risk assessment institutions in a joint event where the SFVS reviewed the experience of working with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), further possibilities for cooperation, and shared ongoing projects in the areas of food safety and risk assessment. The global Covid-19 pandemic and African Swine Fever (ASF) have also been identified as major challenges for this year.

2021 m. November 16 d.

Raising a number of questions and discussions about the peculiarities and requirements of food labelling, we have summarised and answered the most relevant questions for the consumers and businesses.

2021 m. November 08 d.

During a meeting between a delegation led by the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania, Kęstutis Navickas, and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the certificates to export 4 additional categories of Lithuanian meat products to USA. 

2021 m. November 05 d.

Inspections carried out by the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) show no detected infringement related to the quality or safety of honey during the bee season of this year. Ninety-four samples of honey were selected from Lithuanian apiaries, points of sale and honey consignments imported from third countries. Residues of veterinary medicinal products, pesticides, heavy metals, and compliance with the technical regulation on honey were inspected. The inspection results were found to be in line with the legislation.

2021 m. November 03 d.

After the evaluation of the export data on animal food products collected by the State Food and Veterinary Service for the three quarters of this year, there was recorded the overall export growth of 12%. During the nine months of this year, there were exported 23 thousand tonnes more than in the same period last year. In total, Lithuanian producers exported more than 191 thousand tonnes of animal food products to non-EU countries during the three quarters of this year.