A European Commission report shows that thanks to the EU's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) many food safety risks have been averted or mitigated and safety controls ensure our food is safe.
In 2011, 9157 notifications in RASFF related to non-compliances with EU food legislation were reported, of which 617 concerned serious risks.
Most of the notifications were follow-ups (5345) rather than new (3812) notifications. This reflects an increased effectiveness of the system with a better targeting and a more extensive follow-up.
Out of the 3812 new notifications: 3139 concerned food, 361 concerned feed and 312 concerned food contact materials. Some of the most reported issues were aflatoxins in feed, dried fruits and nuts and migration of chemical substances from kitchen utensils from China.
One of the particular successes was the strengthening of safety checks at EU borders. Almost half of the notifications related to food and feed rejected at EU borders. When such a product is identified, RASFF informs the non-EU country in question asking them to take corrective action and to prevent the problem from happening again. When a serious and persistent problem is detected, the country in question is asked by the Commission to apply urgent corrective measures such as delisting establishments, blocking exports or intensifying controls.
Friday July 20, 2012/ European Commission/ European Union.