In January 2015 the Slovak media notified the public of a large penalty, imposed by the State Veterinary and Food Administration of the Slovak Republic on the grocery and general merchandise retailer TESCO STORES SR, as ("Tesco"). The record penalty representing the amount of €1 million has been imposed as a result of repeated infringements by Tesco of obligations under the Slovak Act No. 152/1995 Coll. on Foodstuffs.
The breaches alleged were:
- placing products on sale after the expiry date of minimum durability (e.g., cream cheese, coffee, tea, cereal bars), and
- placing fresh produce products that were deemed unsafe for human consumption in Tesco's retail stores.
Furthermore, various breaches of Tesco's obligations were identified by the authorities at all stages of production (including labelling of food additives and meat products, protecting food against contamination and storage of food).
The authorities hope that the fines against Tesco will serve as a warning for retail chains doing business in Slovakia who do not comply with the Slovak food laws.
However, the penalty has not been paid by Tesco yet and the issue has been subject of the further investigations following Tesco's appeal in the Slovak court. Notwithstanding, the current legal issues regarding food quality and safety Tesco this has not decreased this multinational retailer's popularity with cost conscious consumers.