Sweeping checks continue and are intensified at retail points and super markets, but also at entry gates to the country, i.e. ports and borders.

As he emphasizes in his statement Minister of Rural Development and Food Lefteris Avgenakis “no interest will stand in the way of this effort”, giving, in this way, the stamp of the intentions of the HYPAAT.

As a result of the controls carried out, fines have been imposed on 12 companies, while another 300 have been given recommendations, before the fines are imposed. Also within March fines are expected to be imposed on 16 more companies.

Specifically, in his statement, the Minister of Rural Development and Food Lefteris Avgenakis states:

“Second month of checks by the mixed levels of ELGO DIMITRA, EFET and the Food Directorate of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food. Second month and the results are already visible, both at the level of checks on milk and dairy products and at the level of fruit and vegetables, honey, oil and a little later also meat. Controls which have already brought visible results, but the effort continues and one thing is certain. No interest can stand in the way of this effort that started organized and will continue. To protect consumers, to bring order to the market and of course to strengthen household producers”.

Checks to date

Until now, the checks are focused on milk and the PDO products produced from it, but also on the labels of the products, i.e. if the content is in line with what is written and if the labeling they have meets the national and EU legislation. Product samples are taken and sent for examination to the laboratories of the State General Chemistry and ELGO – DIMITRA, depending on the type of examination that needs to be done.

Depending on the findings – if and when they arise – they are forwarded to EFET and ELGO – DIMITRA in order to proceed with the process of imposing sanctions. Violators are informed and then and from the adjudication of the objection they are entitled to – that is, once the decision is final – the fine is imposed and the violator is notified.

Also, in addition to the sampling in the context of the extraordinary controls, again from mixed levels, on-site balance checks are carried out in the dairy industries.

Specifically, from January 18 to March 3, at the retail points in Athens, Thessaloniki, Larissa, Patras, Volos, Ioannina, 84 checks have been carried out from where 175 samples have been sent for analysis, of which 103 have been sent for laboratory analysis to the GHK and 72 in the laboratories of ELGO DIMITRAS.

For labeling, 267 samples have been collected and sent to EFET (32 for FETA, 113, other cheeses, 51 milk, 64 yogurt, 3 Ariani, 3 Kefir and 1 cream) and 30 to ELGO – DIMITRA (7 FETA, 16 for yellow cheeses, 3 for milk, 1 for yogurt dessert, 1 for yogurt and 2 for kefir).

At the entrance gates have been carried out:

At the port of Igoumenitsa, 75 inspections have been carried out, all on drums transporting milk products.
In the port of Patras, 35 controls have been carried out (16 on drums of milk products and 19 on loads of cheese).
There have been 3 checks in Promachona, all of them concern drums with milk products.
Three checks have been carried out at the dairy factories for on-site checks of balances (Alexandroupoli, Kilkis, Tripoli) and within the week on-site checks have been planned at two more dairy factories.

Corresponding controls have also been carried out on fresh fruit and vegetables.


193 inspections (Attiki 54, Thessaloniki 14, Larissa 38, Volos 23, Ioannina 52, Patra 12).
In organic: 33 controls (Attiki 24, Larissa 2, Volos 5, Thessaloniki and Voula in the People’s Organic Products).
Laboratory tests for residues of plant protection substances 26 (Attiki 24, Thessaloniki 2).
The training program for emergency checks from the mixed levels is also in the final stage and it is expected that in the next few days checks will start, in olive oil, meat and honey. In particular, in fruit and vegetables, checks concern apples and potatoes, while checks have begun on oranges and tangerines and are continuing on kiwis.

It is noted that all of the above refer to the emergency ones that operate in addition to the regular controls that are included in the annual planning of the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food, ELGO-DIMITRA and EFET.

Results of checks

To date, of the 103 samples that have been sent to the GHK, 86 concern FETA, of which 57 have been analyzed. No findings were found in 55, while one is adulterated with cow’s milk and in one more it was found to have more moisture than expected.

Regarding labeling:

EFET examines 267 samples of which 249 are of various dairy products. So far, the examination of 79 samples has been completed and 45 identified non-compliances have been reported, which relate to non-indication of the origin of milk, the details of the producer, the country of origin, the indications on the packages as well as the incorrect labeling of PDO products.

Fruit and vegetables have also come under the microscope of the controls of the mixed levels. Thorough checks have led to the withdrawal of potatoes from Athens and Thessaloniki (green).

Cases of Greekization of Kiwis from Iran are also being further investigated and heard. In addition, one case of non-compliance was found regarding the labeling of the country of origin on potatoes.


In the first two months of 2024, fines of 130,000 euros have been imposed on 12 companies.

24 recommendations have been delivered – mainly for labeling and packaging – to fresh fruit and vegetable trading companies.

Finally, more than 300 recommendations have been sent and received within 2024 to traders, wholesalers and exporters of agricultural products to comply with the online platform of the HYPAAT Register of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Traders, (M.E.N.O.)

In the dairy sector, within March, 16 companies will be fined a total of 267,286 euros. These violations concern milk balances, other than PDO products, and lead to sanctions directly from the FSA without requiring a primary or secondary Commission opinion.

Pending by Sanctioning Committees

According to the current legislation, the findings of the controls for the products in which violations – irregularities have been found, are sent to the 1st Degree Commission for the Examination of Irregularities and Violations of the FSAAT.

To date, a total of 196 pending cases have been examined and fines amounting to 1,297,181 euros have been submitted. Of these, the vast majority of cases related to cheese products (182 cases). And the fines imposed on cheese companies are 1,131,000 euros.

The remaining 14 cases related to vegetable products (olive oils and olives) and the fines imposed are 166,181 euros.

The total backlog of referrals that remain for consideration is 149 cases related to cheese products.

As far as the 2nd-level Committee for the Examination of Irregularities and Violations of the FSAAT for the four-year period 2020-2023 is concerned, 26 business cases have been forwarded which appealed against the decision of the 1st-level Committee. Out of these 26 cases, 8 have been examined (7 for cheese products and one for vegetable products, in addition 6 have been examined by the second-tier Committee, but the process of issuing minutes and sending the decisions has not been completed, while for the rest 12 concerning 10 cheese products and 2 vegetable products, their examination is pending. The next meeting of the second-tier Committee has been set for March 13, where 3 cases are expected to be discussed. By the end of April, the examination of 7 more cases of cheese products will take place).

Also, in 7 more cases, in order to be examined by the second instance, a decision of the Supreme Court is expected. The cases in question concern reed olives.