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Rapid Alert System For Food and Feed – More Efficient than Ever

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Rapid Alert System For Food and Feed – More Efficient than Ever

Rapid Alert System For Food and Feed – More Efficient than Ever
August 31
09:28 2016

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) 2015 annual report, just published, demonstrates the increased efficiency with which RASFF exchanges information on issues posing a serious health risk. The network thereby enables authorities to act swiftly on many food safety risks before they could become harmful to European consumers.

Last year, the European Commission received 3049 notifications of food or feed risks via this EU-wide alert system, 775 of which concerned a serious health risk. The response rate to such alerts increased by 23% to reach 4030 follow-up notifications. Among the most notified risks were mercury in fish, aflatoxins in nuts and Salmonella in fruits and vegetables.

RASFF’s round-the-clock information sharing service is a key tool to ensure quick cross-border reaction when risks to public health are detected in the food chain. The system – which originated in 1979 – has evolved to keep pace with a growing and increasingly complex global market and changing consumer habits. New challenges such as global trade, food fraud, e-commerce and emerging risks require further enhancing cooperation between RASFF and other systems governing food safety and public health. Work on dealing with these challenges has already begun.

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