Notification to the RASFF
The criteria for notification to the RASFF (3) are provided in Article 50 of European Commission Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002 (4). Whenever a member of the network has any information relating to the existence of a serious direct or indirect risk to human health deriving from food or feed, this information is immediately notified to the Commission under the RASFF. The Commission immediately transmits the information to the members of the network.
In 2013, a total of 3205 original notifications were transmitted through the RASFF, and 223 are connected to FCM. This represents 6.9% of all reported incidents in 2013. However, this is a positive trend as the FCM related notifications accounted for 8.2% of all findings in 2012 and 8.4% in 2011.
Heavy Metal Contamination in Food is of Highest Concern
The most frequent findings for FCM are connected to migration of heavy metals. Migration of chromium and manganese are of particular concern. Both parameters together account for 43.5% of all FCM notifications in 2013. It has been reported that the country of origin of the concerned products is China in both cases. The most active EU Member State for surveillance of FCM in 2013 has been Italy.
Another issue of interest for market surveillance in regard of chemical safety for FCM has been the migration of primary aromatic amines (PAA) in kitchen helpers as presented in the infographic (5) published additionally to the 2013 RASFF report. However, compared to 2012, the migration of PAA and formaldehyde from plastic products no longer rank in the top 10 notifications. This implies that the measures implemented by Regulation (EU) No. 284/2011 (6) for the import of polyamide and melamine plastic kitchenware and applicable from July 2011 show some effect.
The infographic also indicates that physical safety of FCM was a concern as some soft drink bottles have been reported with a risk of breakage.
RASSF notifications top 10 in 2013 by country of origin are summarized in Table 1 (http://newsletter.sgs.com/
(1) RASFF Annual Report 2013 (http://ec.europa.eu/
(2) Safeguards No 122/14 - June 2014 (http://newsletter.sgs.com/
(3) European Commission for Food and Feed Safety (http://ec.europa.eu/
(4) EC No 178/2002 (http://eur-
(5) Infographic RASFF (http://ec.europa.eu/
(6) Commission Regulation (EU) No 284/2011 (http://www.google.de/
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Dr. Udo Krischke
Dr. Udo Krischke