Increasing number of Salmonella contaminations in Belgium in 2018
Each year, the RASFF (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) publishes a factsheet with the number of notifications reported per country. For Belgium, the figures for 2018 are now available. You’ll see that the number of notifications due to Salmonella contamination has increased with almost +20% in 2018 (compared to 2017). The total number of hazard notifications has even increased with almost +40% from 107 in 2017 to 147 in 2018. You don’t need a calculator to find out that’s not good.
You’ll see that the number of Salmonella contaminations has increased with almost 20% in 2018 (compared to 2017)
It is no surprise that consumers want to be sure that the food they eat is safe. Food and feed safety is a key public concern. The EU has one of the highest food safety standards in the world. Largely thanks to the solid set of EU legislation in place, which ensures that food and feed are safe for consumers. One key tool used to react quickly to food and feed incidents is RASFF (the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed).
RASFF enables information. To be shared rapidly and efficiently between the European Commission, food and feed control authorities in Member States and organisations. Whenever a health risk has been identified. In this way, countries can act quickly and in a coordinated manner. In order to avert food safety risks before they can harm consumers. All 27 EU Member States are members of RASFF. Together with the European Commission and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are also full members of RASFF.
How does RASFF work?
The system is made up of contact points in all RASFF member countries, member organisations and in the European Commission. These members exchange information of any health risk. There is a round-the-clock service to ensure that urgent notifications are sent, received and responded to in the shortest time possible.
Four types of notifications
1. Alert notifications are sent when food or feed presenting a serious risk is available on the market and when rapid action is required.
2. Information notifications are used in the same situation, but when the other members do not have to take rapid action because the product is not on the market or the risk is not considered to be serious.
3. Border rejections concern food and feed consignments that have been tested and rejected at the external borders of the EU (and the EEA) when a health risk has been detected.
4. Any information related to the safety of food and feed products which has not been communicated as an alert or an information notification, but which is judged valuable for the control authorities, is transmitted to the members under the heading News.
What happens next?
The members take action depending on the type of notification and immediately inform the Commission of the measures taken. They may, for example, withdraw or recall the product from the market. In addition, border rejections are transmitted to all border posts – i.e. all 27 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. This is to ensure that the rejected product does not re-enter the EU through another border post.
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
EFSA’s role is to assess and communicate on risks associated with the food chain. It issues scientific opinions and advice to support the European Commission and EU Member States in taking effective and timely decisions on the actions that should be taken to ensure that consumers are protected.
If you want to find our more? Please have a look at the original factsheet on the ec.europa.eu.
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