Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) annual report: record exchange of information helped to trace and remove affected products from the market
The report on the use of the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed published today shows that a total of 3832 notifications of food or feed risks were reported to the European Commission in 2017.
942 of these were classified as “alert”, indicating a serious health risk for which rapid action was required. The type of risks mostly concerned salmonella in poultry meat as the most frequently reported issue in food checked at the EU border and mercury in swordfish in food checked on the EU market. Only a small percentage of the notifications in 2017 related to feed (6%) and food contact materials (3.1%). Also in 2017, a high number of notifications related to fipronil residues in eggs due to the illegal use of this substance as a biocide. It was the most intensive exchange of information in the history of RASFF and it helped to trace and remove the affected eggs from the market. Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, in charge of Health and Food Safety said: “For almost 40 years now, this alert system has been a key tool to ensure that food put on the market in the EU is safe, can be traced, and quickly removed from the shelves if need be. Fipronil incident has led us to propose ways to further strengthen the system, making it more equipped to fight against fraud through coordinated actions by food operators and Member States’ authorities in this area. Most of the improvements and concrete measures that Member States committed to are well on the way. I am looking forward to presenting the full report in the AGRIFISH Council in November”.