EMRISK has developed a system that enables the provision of up-to-date statistics (e.g. frequency tables and graphs) and alerts of new and re-emerging hazards from the RASFF-Database. The core system is based on two main IT applications: a SAS-macro for the data management and the descriptive statistics and an excel pivot-tool to produce ad hoc reports. The SAS-macro provides summary statistics (e.g. frequency tables, graphs, and notification rates) for each possible combination of hazard, product and country, as well as time trend analyses and alerts of new or re-emerging hazards. The excel pivot-tool allows to produce tables and histograms for a specified combination of variables (e.g. hazard, product, country) in a given time interval. The geographic information system provides maps with the geographical distribution of notifications. A handbook for the tools developed has also been provided.
Most of the IT tools developed are now extensively used by EMRISK for its monitoring activities and to provide a fast response to specific requests received from EFSA's scientific Units. The evaluation of the RASFF-Database as a potential source of information for the identification of emerging risks indicates that this source of information, mainly based on surveillance and inspection programs driven by the existing legislation, can be useful mostly for the identification of re-emerging hazards.