Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Food Law News - EU - 2015

Commission Daily News, 30 June 2015

RASFF - Record interventions of the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed to fight health risks

The 2014 Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) Annual Report, published today, reveals that in 2014, 3157 notifications of food or feed risks were reported to the European Commission via this EU-wide alert system, representing a 25% increase compared to 2013. Of these notifications, 751 alerts concerned a serious health risk. These original notifications gave rise to 5910 follow-up notifications - a new high in the history of RASFF - marking a 15% increase. Among the most notified risks are mercury in fish, aflatoxins in nuts and Salmonella in poultry.

RASFF, which originated in 1979, has in the course of 35 years greatly evolved to keep pace with a growing and increasingly complex global market and changing consumer habits. In 2014, the Commission further streamlined RASFF for greater efficiency in the aftermath of the 2011 EHEC outbreak, which originated from sprouted seeds in Germany. Consequently, the online ‘iRASFF’ platform is now used by all Member States and allows countries to interact on each other's alerts in real time.

Together with the publication of the system's standard operating procedures these tools have made the system even more effective in addressing the many food and feed incidents reported. Next steps, already underway, are a review of RASFF and other systems dealing with food safety and health with a view to integrating them for better preparedness for new food safety challenges and potential crises.

For more information on RASFF, the full report and the info graph, see:

To go to main Foodlaw-Reading Index page, click here.