The European Commission’s publication of its annual report on the operation of the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), indicates a record number of notifications were sent through RASFF during 2007 compared to previous years since it has been operable. RASFF is an on-line tool enabling the quick and effective exchange of information between EU member states and the Commission when risks to human health are detected in the food and feed chain.
The 2007 RASFF report breaks down the overall number of notifications into alert and information notifications. Among the risks most reported using an alert notification, which are sent when the food or feed presenting the risk is already on the market and immediate action is required, were the presence of potentially pathogenic micro-organisms, foreign bodies and mycotoxins. Information notifications are sent when a risk has been identified but immediate action by other member states is not necessary, as the product has not reached their market. Most information notifications were on products originating in non-EU countries.