Lots of air found in food packs

The Viennese Labour Chamber (AK) has called on politicians to act on the content of air in foodstuff packages.

The chamber said today (Mon) it checked 35 products on sale in Vienna for the percentage of air. The organisation picked the items over suspicions that they contained a substantial amount of air. AK announced it found that 33 of them were empty to an extent of at least 33 per cent. Some product packs featured as much as 70 per cent of air, the chamber pointed out. AK checked rice packages, chocolate, dried fruit snacks and other products.

“Customers are often opting for products which promise more than they contain. They pay too much, assuming that packages are well filled,” a spokeswoman for the Viennese department of AK announced.

AK Vienna called on Federal Economy Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner – whose People’s Party (ÖVP) cooperates with the Social Democrats (SPÖ) of Chancellor Werner Faymann – to determine limits for the amount of air in wrappings of items on sale in Austrian supermarkets. AK explained producers were not confined to mandatory guidelines at the moment. The economy minister is authorised to implement a directive, the chamber claimed. Mitterlehner’s office did not comment on the AK investigation and the organisation’s appeal today.

Only a few weeks ago, AK said foodstuff cost 15 per cent more in Vienna at the moment than it did one year ago. The organisation said residents of the city were forced to fork out an average 51.69 Euros for 41 products of daily life in eight supermarkets in the city this July, up from 44.97 Euros in June 2011. Especially flour (plus 69 per cent) and butter (plus 32 per cent) were more expensive, according to AK.

The federal inflation was 3.3 per cent in June 2011 and 3.5 per cent the following month, statistic agency Statistik Austria said. This means that the average price for products and services on offer in Austria increased by 3.5 per cent last month compared to July 2010. However, Eurostat recorded a 3.8 per cent jump of the Austrian inflation in July. The organisation – the European Commission’s (EC) statistic authority – considers other factors for its estimations than Statistik Austria.

The price for coffee soared by 27 per cent from July 2010 to the same month of this year in Austria, according to Statistik Austria. The research group also registered a 21 per cent increase of heating oil prices.