The 2018 report on the use of the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed released today shows that Member States reported a total of 3699 food or feed risk notifications to the European Commission last year. Of these, 1118 were classified as "alerts", indicating a serious health risk for which food business operators or competent authorities had to act quickly. Aflatoxins in walnuts and mercury in swordfish were the two most frequently reported problems in controlled food at EU borders and on the EU market. As in previous years, only a small percentage of the 2018 notifications concerned feed (9%) and materials in contact with food (4%). Also in 2018, a significant number of notifications concerned a multi-country food-borne Listeria monocytogenes epidemic linked to frozen corn. RASFF was instrumental in tracing and withdrawing the products concerned from the market.
Alert notices, which concern the circulation of unsafe products on the market, increased by 19% compared to 2017, with 13% more responses from different countries. Border rejection warnings drop.
Italy is one of the most active countries in the network, with 400 original notifications and over 750 response notifications.
Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, head of health and food safety, said: "2019 marks the 40th anniversary of Rasff, recognized by all, inside and outside the EU, as a fundamental tool to ensure that food placed on the EU market are safe. The traceability of food and, if necessary, the rapid removal of goods from the market are commitments we have towards consumers. The increased activity of the Rasff network, as evidenced by this year's report, is a confirmation of the enhanced cooperation of food business operators and the authorities of the Member States, which is a positive message for consumers ".