RASFF Report 2020 shows highest number of alerts on record

The 2020 RASFF report has been published.  This is the report on the EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed and it is starting to get very complicated.

RASFF has now integrated with AAC, the Administrative Assistance and Cooperation network.  This means RASFF is now reporting “investigations on non-compliance” and there are now 6 types of “notification” (alert, border rejection, information for attention, information for follow-up, news and non-compliance).  Plus there are 9 different types of notification basis e.g. Company’s own check, border control – consignment released, official control on the market and 6 others.  There is also something officially referred to as a “conversation”; and there were over 14,000 conversations produced in 2020.

A reminder to RASFF that their data and the derived information should be easily digestible and understood by all consumers; there is a danger that as it gets more complicated, only the recall geeks like us will be able to follow it!

  1. There were 1398 “original” alerts (most serious category) in 2020; more than any previous year and a 22% increase on 2019 somewhat due to the ethylene oxide issue
  2. Germany issued the most notifications (531) with The Netherlands (498) second highest.
  3. The highest number of notifications by a country on a specific hazard and product was, 177 notifications issued by The Netherlands regarding ethylene oxide in nuts and seeds
  4. There has been a 37% increase in notifications on patho­genic micro-organisms in 2020 compared to 2019.
  5. Salmonella the most frequently reported pathogen (537 notifications) with 4 times as many notifications as Listeria monocytogenes (129 notifications)
  6. The most reported “active sub­stance” in 2020 was ethylene oxide (347 notifica­tions),
  7. The number of notifications due to mycotoxin contamination was 400 down 23% on 2019.  Aflatoxins (as always) was the most frequently reported mycotoxin in food.

With regards to the non-compliance part of the report from AAC it is notable that mislabelling is by far the highest category of non-compliance.

This resonates with our recall analysis which showed that up to 50% of recalls could be classed as Never Events – click here for our article on this topic

Click here to download the full RASFF 2020 Annual Report.

RQA can assist you to understand your recall risks and prepare for a recall incident, click here to find out more or get in touch on contact@rqa-group.com or call us on +44 (0)118 935 7242.