The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) in Europe ensures that food produced meet some of the highest food safety standards in the world. Being heavily relied on for the past 35 years, the 2013 RASFF report demonstrated the importance of finding products that have traces of fraud and withdraw the product from the market.
The report was given yesterday and covers the reporting period of 2013. There were a total of 3205 original notifications as shown in the report. More notable issues from these notifications are food-borne outbreaks due to the presence of hepatitis A virus found in berry mixes and strawberries, dire reactions caused by food supplements with potentially dangerous ingredients, shigatoxin-producing E.coli (STEC) in meat and pesticides residues on plant products.
These notifications have helped EU Member States speed up their investigations for food safety justice and build a more comprehensive view, which meant they can trace the products and find the source if fraud in the product.
With the report, it indicates that there is an increasing need to exchange information across borders to help the battle against food fraud, which is becoming more sophisticated. The Commission is helping RASFF develop a food fraud IT system to help pin the EU Food Fraud Network. This IT system will provide a platform for cross-border administrative cooperation between national authorities to swiftly exchange information on deceptive and fraudulent activities in the food sector to pursue them across borders.
For the full report, click here.