This is the EU’s key tool to ensure the flow of information to enabling swift reaction when risks to public health are detected in the food chain.
The report revealed that overall in 2017 there were a total of 3832 original notifications transmitted through the RASFF, of which 942 were classified as alert, 596 as information for follow-up, 706 as information for attention and 1588 as border rejection notification.
Issues with poultry were highlighted in the report. In March, Brazilian authorities informed the European Commission that fraud had been discovered with the certification of meat from four poultry meat producers exporting to the EU.
As a result RASFF news was released and reinforced checks were set up for these operators and for further operators, as the incident extended.
The report said: “These reinforced checks lead to a sharp increase in RASFF notifications for Salmonella in poultry meat preparations from Brazil and ultimately in the removal of the authorisation of several operators to export to the EU.”
The report also said that there was multi-country outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to Polish eggs. According to the data reported in RASFF, over 600 consignments with 97 million (m) eggs distributed to 18 EU/EEA and 30m eggs to 12 third countries were withdrawn.
It also highlighted that Salmonella was found in salami from Spain. It said that Sweden transmitted a RASFF alert concerning a foodborne outbreak of Salmonella which was probably associated with the consumption of salami from Spain on 25 September 2017.
In September 2017, Norway identified one case with Salmonella and on 11 November 2017, Denmark reported a cluster of three cases with isolates closely related to the Swedish outbreak strains.
In the report there were also 43 notifications on Salmonella in poultry products originating from Poland and five operators were identified as recurrent.
Campylobacter was also highlighted as Denmark notified 10 times on the presence of Campylobacter, mostly in fresh chicken. There was also one notification from Poland regarding pork necks from Spain.