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Food recalls in EU – Week 35/2014

pasta_salad

This week on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we have two recalls from consumers in EU in the alert notifications:

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in salads with pasta, following company’s own check. Origin France, notified by France, distributed also to Belgium and Luxembourg;

Allergens: undeclared gluten, egg and mustard in burger saucefollowing company’s own check. Origin Belgium, notified by Belgium, distributed also to France.

Between the alert notifications, followed by a withdrawal from the market of the product, we find:

Biotoxins: Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins in chilled scallops, following an official control on the market. Origin Norway, notified by Norway, distributed also to Netherlands and Spain;

Food additives and flavourings: undeclared sulphite in dried apricot, following a border control. Origin Uzbekistan, notified by Latvia, distributed also to Poland;

Mycotoxins: aflatoxins in pistachio nuts, following an official control on the market. Origin Iran (via Poland), notified by Slovakia;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in ham, following company’s own check. Origin Germany, notified by Germany, distributed also to Denmark and Sweden;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in enoki mushrooms, following company’s own check. Origin South Korea, notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Bahrain, Belgium, Finland, France, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in smoked halibut fillets, following company’s own check. Origin Belgium, notified by France;

Pesticide residues: carbendazim in pitahaya, following company’s own check. Origin Vietnam, notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Russia and Switzerland.

In Italy we have also a seizure of frozen kebab from Germany, due to the presence of Salmonella.

Amongst border rejections we have:

- aflatoxins in pistachios from Iran, in crushed ground chilli powder from India and in ground nutmeg from Indonesia (via United States);

- too high content of colour E 102 – tartrazine, unauthorised animal ingredient (egg white) and unauthorised use of colour E 132 – indigotine / indigo carmine in noodles from Japan;

- unauthorised use of colour E 127 – erythrosine in and insufficient labelling (tartrazine E102) of sugar coated fennel seeds from India;

shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli in frozen lamb meat from New Zealand;

norovirus in frozen cooked whole brown clams from Vietnam;

- unauthorised genetically modified (Cry1Ab) rice vermicelli from China;

chlorpyriphos, dimethomorph, boscalid, kresoxim-methyl, pyraclostrobin and metrafenone in pickled vine leaves from Turkey;

triazophos, acetamiprid and imidacloprid in green tea from Turkey;

methomyl and thiodicarb in sweet peppers from Turkey;

- undeclared sulphite in dried prunes from Uzbekistan;

- residue level above MRL for copper in vine leaves from Turkey;

- histamine in frozen yellowfin tuna from Panama;

poor temperature control of frozen shrimps from Peru and of frozen octopus and white grouper from Mauritania;

dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorobifenyls in palm kernel fatty acid disillate from Malaysia;

absence of health certificate(s) for chilled seabream from Senegal unfit for human consumption;

- sunflower meal from Ukraine infested with moulds (visible mould growth on the surface and inside the product, color changed to greygreen with brown and green spots, repulsive odor).

For feed, we don’t have any relevant notification this week.

For food contact materials we have border rejections for migration of formaldehyde and of melamine from melamine boards from China and melamine plates from Hong Kong. Outer coating coming off from knives from China.

Related articles

Food recall in Canada – Seafood pies due to undeclared egg and wheat (allergens)

eggs

Food Recall Warning (Allergen) – Catch of the Bay Fresh Fish Market brand seafood pies recalled due to undeclared egg and wheat

Recall date: August 29, 2014
Reason for recall: Allergen – Egg, Allergen – Wheat
Hazard classification: Class 2
Company / Firm: Masstown Market
Distribution: Nova Scotia
Extent of the distribution: Retail

Recall details

Ottawa, August 29, 2014 – Masstown Market is recalling seafood pies from the marketplace because they contain egg and wheat which are not declared on the label. People with an allergy to egg or wheat should not consume the recalled products described below.

The following products have been sold from Masstown Market in Masstown, Nova Scotia.

Brand Name Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC
Catch of the Bay Fresh Fish Market Lobster Seafood Pie 1200 g All Best Before dates where egg and wheat are not declared on the label 205325 119998
Catch of the Bay Fresh Fish Market Atlantic Seafood Pie 1200 g All Best Before dates where egg and wheat are not declared on the label 205324 414995
Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased. If you have an allergy to egg or wheat, do not consume the recalled products as they may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction.

Background

This recall was triggered by a consumer complaint. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings. The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled products from the marketplace.

Illnesses

There has been one reported reaction associated with the consumption of these products.

More information

Masstown Market: Laurie Jennings – 902-662-2816 Laurie@masstownmarket.com

(Source: CFIA website)

Food recalls in EU – Week 34

lambroll2

This week on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we have four recalls from consumers in EU in the alert notifications:

Pathogenic micro-organisms: foodborne outbreak (20 cases, 12 people dead) caused by Listeria Monocytogenes in lamb-roll sausages, following food poisoning. Origin Denmark, notified by Denmark, distributed also to Germany, Norway and Sweden;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: shigatoxin-producing Escherichia Coli in raw milk cheese, following company’s own check. Origin France, notified by France, distributed also to Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Reunion, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella enteritidis in whole eggs and whole eggs sleeved pasteurized, following an official control on the market. Origin Denmark, notified by Denmark, distributed also to Czech Republic and Greenland;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella enteritidis phagetype D6 in tagliatelle, following an official control on the market. Origin Poland, notified by Germany, distributed also to Belgium and Ireland.

Between the alert notifications, followed by a withdrawal from the market of the product, we find:

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Clostridium botulinum in frozen scallops, following food poisoning. Origin United Kingdom (via Canada), notified by Norway;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in semi-preserved anchovies, following company’s own check. Origin Italy, notified by France;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: foodborne outbreak suspected to be caused by chilled mussels, following food poisoning. Origin Spain, notified by France;

- Non pathogenic micro-organisms: contamination with algae of live mussels, following an official control on the market. Origin Netherlands, notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Belgium and France.

Amongst border rejections we have:

- aflatoxins in crushed chilli and shelled groundnuts from India, in peanuts and groundnuts from China ;

- Salmonella in frozen salted chicken from Thailand and in fresh oregano from Turkey;

- unauthorised use of colour E 124 – Ponceau 4R / cochineal red A in preserved vegetables from Japan;

- blanched hazelnut kernels from Turkey and whole nutmegs from India infested with moulds;

shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli in chilled lamb and frozen lamb meat from New Zealand;

poor hygienic state (dirty and soaked cartons) of frozen shrimps from India;

- prohibited substance nitrofuran (metabolite) furazolidone (AOZ) in frozen king prawns and raw prawns from India;

anthraquinone and unauthorised substance tolfenpyrad in black tea from China;

- carbendazim and dimethoate in green beans from Kenya;

- formetanate in fresh peppers from Turkey;

- carbaryl in fresh peppers from Thailand;

-  chlorfenapyr in broccoli from China.

For feed, we don’t have any relevant notification this week.

For food contact materials we have border rejections for migration of bis(2-ethylhexyl) terephthalate (DOTP) from glass jar containing garlic and coriander paste from Thailand.

Related articles

Latest Food recalls in US – LIsteria in breaded chicken and allergens (walnuts) in spinach

Listeria

Dole Fresh Vegetables Announces Allergy Alert and Voluntary Limited Recall of DOLE-branded Spinach Due to Possible Contamination by Walnuts

Contact:
Consumer:
1-800-356-3111

Media:
David Bright
1-818-874-4879
David.Bright@Dole.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 28, 2014 – Although no illnesses or allergic reactions have been reported, Dole Fresh Vegetables is initiating a limited voluntary recall of the following products:

PRODUCT NAME BAG CODE BEST-BY DATE
DOLE Baby Spinach 6 oz bag
UPC 071430009642
B2311020 9/4/2014
B2311021 9/4/2014
B2311022 9/4/2014
B2311023 9/4/2014
DOLE Spinach 8 oz bag
UPC 071430009765
B2311020 9/4/2014
B2311021 9/4/2014
B2311022 9/4/2014
B2311023 9/4/2014
B2311024 9/4/2014
B2311025 9/4/2014

This recall is due to possible contamination of these products by walnuts. The walnuts fell from a tree into spinach bins being delivered from a field and were discovered at the plant. No illnesses or allergic reactions have been reported. However, people who have an allergy to tree nuts may have a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products or products containing walnuts.

This recall is for Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico, for only DOLE Baby Spinach 6 oz bags and DOLE Spinach 8 oz bags with the specific Bag Codes and Best-by dates listed above. The bag code and best-by date are on the top right-hand corner of the front of the bag. Consumers who have purchased the designated products are instructed not to consume the product and to call the DOLE Consumer Center toll-free at 1-800-356-3111 from 8am to 3 pm Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, for a refund.

Food safety is the first priority of Dole Fresh Vegetables, so although the contamination is not confirmed, this recall is being initiated in an abundance of caution for the benefit of our customers.

 

New Jersey Firm Recalls Breaded Chicken Product For Possible Listeria Contamination

Class I Recall

Health Risk: High Date: 27/ago/2014

Congressional and Public Affairs
Felicia Thompson
(202) 720-9113

WASHINGTON, August 27, 2014 – TNUVA USA, a Fairfield, N.J., establishment is recalling approximately 8,316 pounds of Mom’s Chicken Extra Thin Cutlets product due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes (Lm), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The product was produced on August 18, 2013, and shipped to the company’s distributor in New Jersey. FSIS will post complete store locations as the list becomes available on its website at www.fsis.usda.gov. The following product is subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF Only)]

  • 28.8-oz. (1.8 lb.) bags containing “MOM’S CHICKEN EXTRA THIN CUTLETS, THIN-CUT BREADED CUTLET SHAPED CHICKEN BREAST PATTIES.”

Bags bear the Israeli establishment number “209” within the Israeli mark of inspection. The product’s expiration date is February 18, 2015, and bears the following UPC number on the packaging: 843426005866.

The problem was discovered when FSIS personnel conducted a routine sampling of product which tested positive for Lm.  FSIS held the product and it did not enter commerce. Further investigation by FSIS determined that other products were produced on the same line without clean up between products. FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products

Consumption of food contaminated with Lm can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Media and consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Customer Service at 1-844- GOTNUVA (1-844-468-6882).

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

Voluntary Recall Notice of Margaret Holmes 14.5 oz Turnip Greens and 14.5 oz Mixed Greens Due to Questionable Seals

Contact
Consumer:
1-800-277-2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 27, 2014 – McCall Farms Incorporated is initiating a voluntary recall on 14.5 oz Margaret Holmes Turnip Greens and 14.5 oz Margaret Holmes Mixed Greens due to the potential of questionable seals. This recall does not impact any other Margaret Holmes vegetables.

The affected product was packaged on the same day and has a five digit production lot code of F13EX. Consumers who may have purchased this product can find the lot code information on the top of the can. The UPC code for the Turnip Greens is 41443 10251 and the Mixed Greens is 41443 11271.

The affected product was distributed to retailers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

McCall Farms has notified the impacted customers of this issue. Consumers who have purchased this product with the affected lot code are asked to dispose of the product. Consumers do not need to return the product to the store where it was purchased. Please contact McCall Farms consumer services at 1-800-277-2012 Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST for a replacement or full refund, and with general inquires.

Consumer safety and satisfaction is the top priority for our company. It is for these reasons, that we are taking this step. We sincerely apologize to our customers and consumers for the inconvenience this has caused. We have notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of this voluntary recall and will cooperate with them fully.

(Sources: FDA, FSIS websites)

Food recall in Canada – L’Alpette cheese recalled due to a toxin produced by Staphylococcus bacteria

canada
Recall details

Ottawa, August 28, 2014 – Ferme Floralpe Inc. is recalling L’Alpette cheese from the marketplace because it may contain the toxin produced by Staphylococcus bacteria. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.

Recall date: August 28, 2014 
Reason for recall: Microbiological – Staphylococcus aureus
Hazard classification: Class 2
Company / Firm: Ferme Floralpe Inc.
Distribution: Ontario, Quebec
Extent of the distribution: Retail
Reference number: 9192
Recalled products

Brand Name Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC
L’Alpette Soft ripened sheep cheese 160 g Lot 333
Best before: 14 10 31
None
What you should do
Check to see if you have recalled product in your home. Recalled product should be thrown out or returned to the store where it was purchased. Food contaminated with Staphylococcus toxin may not look or smell spoiled. The toxin produced by Staphylococcus bacteria is not easily destroyed at normal cooking temperatures. Common symptoms of Staphylococcus poisoning are nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping and fever. In severe cases of illness, headache, muscle cramping and changes in blood pressure and pulse rate may occur.

Background

This recall was triggered by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) test results. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings. The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled product from the marketplace.

Illnesses

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Click here for the link to the CFIA warning.

(Source: CFIA website)

Thank god it’s Friday! Quick news from the world (Week 34)

Weekend-Edition-Image

This is a new weekly appointment from Foodlawlatest.com, which I hope you will appreciate. Please let me have your feedback. It’s a summary of interesting and/or particular news I read during the week and that I am glad to share with all our readers.

Good reading…and happy weekend!

CANADA

Canada Now Requiring Labels for Mechanically Tenderized Beef on www.foodsafetynews.com: Canada’s requirement that all mechanically tenderized beef (MTB) be labeled as such and include instructions for safe cooking came into effect on Aug. 21.

CHINA

China Inspection and Quarantine: Importation of Dutch Potatoes to China Approved: legal basis and import requirements of the Chinese legislation, examined by Rachel Shen, Chemlinked, Reach24 Consulting Group;

- Chinese retailer introduces infant formula recall insurance, by Mark Astley+ on www.dairyreporter.com, 25-Aug-2014: Chinese retailer Suning Redbaby has reportedly begun offering an infant formula insurance policy that compensates customers in the event of a recall.

EU – UK

Evidence links salmonella outbreak to imported eggs, by Rod Addy+ on www.foodmanufacture.co.uk, 26-Aug-2014: Health and food safety authorities have confirmed the salmonella outbreak in Europe publicised earlier this week has been linked to eggs.

- EU and Cape Verde agree on new 4 year Protocol to Fisheries Partnership Agreementby European Commission, DG Mare website: the European Union and Cape Verde have agreed on a new Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Cape Verde. The four-year Protocol will replace the current Protocol which expires on 31 August 2014.It will allow 71 EU vessels to fish for tuna and other highly migratory species in Cape Verdean waters. In return, the Union has increased its financial contribution and will pay Cape Verde €550 000 per year for the first two years of application and €500 000 per year for the final two years of application.

INDIA

Lindt has had enough of Indian regulations, by Nandini Kumar, Bangalore Mirror Bureau: Lindt & Sprungli has decided to fold its operations in the country after more than two of its consignments brought into India (in August 2013 and January 2014) were sent back due to a new set of import rules.

USA

- Ghirardelli Settles “White Chocolate” Labeling Suit for $5.25 Million, by David Ter Molen, FoodIdentity Blog: Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. has agreed to pay approximately $5.25 million to resolve a putative class action that accused the company of improperly advertising certain products as containing “white chocolate” when they failed to contain cocoa butter, which is required for “white chocolate” or “white chocolate flavor” under FDA regulations.

WHO

- Information Note: Ebola and Food Safety: if food products are properly prepared and cooked, humans cannot become infected by consuming them: the Ebola virus is inactivated through cooking. Basic hygiene measures can prevent infection in people in direct contact with infected animals or with raw meat and by-products. Basic hygiene measures include regular hand washing and changing of clothes and boots before and after touching these animals and their products. However, sick and diseased animal should never be consumed.

FVO Report – Organic production and labelling in France

FoodLawfinal

This report describes the outcome of an audit which took place in France from 9 to 20 September 2013 in order to evaluate the control systems for organic production and labelling of organic products; a previous audit to France on the same topic was carried out in 1999.

There is an overall effective system for controls of organic production and labelling of organic products in France, while national provisions provide a clear legal framework for the implementation of organic production rules although some of them differ from the requirements as laid down in the European Union (EU) legislation.

Control Bodies (CBs) are not always accredited before being approved by the National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO). This is not in accordance with EU requirements, as accreditation according to norm EN 45011 may sometimes occur a long time after their approval. Although CBs have in general a sufficient number of suitably qualified and experienced staff, deficiencies in the performance of newly recruited staff without appropriate tutoring were noted.  Some controls carried out by the CBs were found to be ineffective. Differences in interpretation of analytical results for residues of pesticides and contaminants were noted between the CBs visited.

In some cases, the threshold for initiation of an investigation was not in accordance with EU legislation. In some cases, CBs did not immediately notify the Central Competent Authority (CCA) when deficiencies, affecting the organic status of the products, had been detected. In a limited number of cases enforcement was weak or missing.

Documentation, issued to operators, setting out their approval status is not published, which is contrary to the requirements of Article 92(a) of Regulation (EC) No 889/2008. As a consequence, those receiving product along the supply chain, those performing controls and consumers, cannot readily verify that suppliers and products have been appropriately certified.

In general, controls on labelling of organic and in-conversion products were effective. Traceability from retailer to the producer was satisfactory (in one case, identifying an ingredient erroneously declared as organic).

The French instructions delegate to CBs the administration of certain exceptions to organic production standards, which is not in compliance with EU requirements, whilst in other cases (e.g. mutilations) derogations have been granted countrywide without any effective control or verification.

Procedures for communication, co-ordination and co-operation between the CBs and the CCA, and among the different Competent Authorities (CAs), are in place, with the only exception being the French Paying Agency (ASP); with the effect that important information concerning controls carried out by the ASP are not being used to target or prioritise the controls operated by other
CAs.

(Source DG Sanco – FVO website)

Food recall UK – Allergens: Tofutti Original Minis withdrawn for undelcared soya

uk-1

Triano Brands has withdrawn a batch of Tofutti Original Minis with a ‘best before’ date of 15 May 2015 because the product contains soya and this is not mentioned on the front of the packet. This makes the product a possible health risk for those with an allergy or intolerance to soya. Only individual pots with a foil lid mentioning soya as an ingredient are affected.

Product name: Tofutti Original Minis
Pack size: multipack, 6x28g
‘Best before’ date: 15 May 2015

No other Tofutti products are known to be affected.

If you have bought the above product and you have an allergy or intolerance to soya, do not eat it. Instead, return it to the store from where it was bought.

The company has withdrawn the product from sale and will contact the relevant allergy support organisations, which will tell their members about the withdrawal.

(Source: FSA website)

Food recalls in EU – Week 32 – 33

Escherichia_coli_13776880

These weeks on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we have six recalls from consumers in EU in the alert notifications:

Allergens: undeclared almond in olive with garlic, following company’s own check. Origin Poland, notified by Denmark;

Composition: high content of aluminium in cake flour, following company’s own check. Origin Vietnam, notified by Germany, distributed also to Netherlands and Poland;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: shigatoxin-producing Escherichia Coli in goat cheese made from raw milk, following company’s own check. Origin France, notified by France, distributed also to Belgium and Luxembourg;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: shigatoxin-producing Escherichia Coli in raw goat milk cheese, following company’s own check. Origin France, notified by France, distributed also to Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella infantis in frozen marinated chicken breast fillets, following an official control on the market. Origin Netherlands, notified by Denmark;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella in chorizo, following an official control on the market. Origin Spain, notified by France, distributed also to Luxembourg.

Between the information for attention and the information for follow up notifications, followed by a recall from consumers, we find:

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Bacillus cereus in cream, following company’s own check. Origin United Kingdom, notified by United Kingdom, distributed also to Jersey and Guernsey;

Defective packaging: the lids of the packages does not close tightly in chilled diced bacon, following a consumer complaint. Origin Sweden, notified by Denmark.

Between the alert notifications, followed by a withdrawal from the market of the product, we find:

Allergens: undeclared shrimp in fish stew, following company’s own check. Origin Spain, notified by Italy;

Composition: high content of aluminium in glass noodles from beans, following an official control on the market. Origin China, notified by Germany, distributed also to Austria;

Composition: unauthorised substance androstenedione and unauthorised ingredient tetrahydrocanabinol  in food supplement, following an official control on the market. Origin Germany, notified by Czech Republic;

Composition: unauthorised ingredient tetrahydrocanabinol in food supplement, following an official control on the market. Origin Hungary, notified by Czech Republic;

Mycotoxins: aflatoxins in raw pistachios, following company’s own check. Origin Iran (via Germany), notified by Italy, distributed also to Austria, Hong Kong, France, Malta and Switzerland;

- Pathogenic micro-organisms: Bacillus subtilis in flavoured milk, following a consumer’s complaint. Origin Germany, notified by United Kingdom, distributed also to Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and Netherlands;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in frozen meatballs, following company’s own check. Origin Netherlands, notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Belgium;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella spp. in ground chilli powder, following an official control on the market. Origin unknown (via Switzerland and Norway), notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Centro African Republic, Gabon, Germany, Italy and Sweden;

Residues of veterinary medicinal products: residue level above MRL for oxytetracycline in frozen beef, following an official control on the market. Origin Poland, notified by Poland, distributed also to Croatia, France, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom, Macedonia.

Amongst border rejections we have

- aflatoxins in peanut kernels, peanuts with shell, groundnut kernels and blanched peanuts from China, in ground nutmeg from the United States, in pistachio nuts from Iran and Tukey;

- Salmonella in raw salted uncalibrated poultry breast, frozen salted poultry breast and frozen salted chicken from Thailand, in hulled sesame seeds from India and in frog legs from Turkey;

- shelled walnuts from Chile and raisins from India infested with moulds;

spoilage of and foreign body (stones, small sticks and stalks, fur) in raisins from Pakistan;

formentanate in fresh peppers from Turkey, endosulfan, cypermethrin and hexaconazole in green beans from the Dominican Republic, chlorpyriphos and diazinon in whole black olives from Egypt

- too high content of sulphite in dried apricot from Uzbekistan;

poor temperature control of and incorrect labelling on frozen Atlantic cod from China and poor temperature control of frozen squid from Argentina;

- prohibited substance nitrofuran (metabolite) furazolidone (AOZ) in frozen raw shrimps from India;

- unauthorised substance sildenafil in food supplements dispatched from China;

attempt to illegally import aubergines from Thailand;

Norovirus in frozen strawberries from China;

poor state of preservation (strong smell) of and rodent excrements in sweet potatoes from Nigeria;

benzo(a)pyrene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in crude soybean oil and non-refined soybean oil from Ukraine;

- too high content of zinc in vinegar from China;

- unauthorised ingredient (Rauwolfia serpentina, Areca catechu, Sida cordifolia, Ipomoea turphetum) and novel food ingredient Mucuna pruriens in various food supplements from India.

For feed, we have an alert notification, followed by a withdrawal from the market:

Biotoxins: meadow saffron (Colchicum autumnale) in hay, following company’s own check. Origin Germany, notified by Netherlands.

For food contact materials we have an alert notification, followed by a withdrawal from the market:

- Migration of p-tert-butylbenzoic acid (PTBBA) in plastic bags containing candy blood, following a consumer complaint. Origin China (via United Kingdom), notified by Germany;

and border rejections for migration of nickel and of manganese from grill and drip pans from Turkey and biodegradable plates from China unfit for use as food contact material (does not match conditions of use >100°C as on the label).

Related articles

Latest Food recalls in Canada – Allergens

eggs

Food Recall Warning (Allergen) – Kaak brand Crispy Baked Bread recalled due to undeclared sesame

Recall date: August 15, 2014
Reason for recall: Allergen – Sesame Seeds
Hazard classification: Class 2
Company / Firm: Salem Brothers
Distribution: Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan
Extent of the distribution: Retail 
Reference number: 9158
Recalled products

Brand Name Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC
Kaak Crispy Baked Bread (Plain) 350g All codes where sesame is not declared on the label. 5 285000 599098
Kaak Crispy Baked Bread (Anis Seed) 350g All codes where sesame is not declared on the label. 5 285000 599098
Kaak Crispy Baked Bread (Black Seed) 350g All codes where sesame is not declared on the label. 5 285000 599098

 

Food Recall Warning (Allergen) – Chicken Burgers recalled due to undeclared egg

Recall date: August 15, 2014
Reason for recall: Allergen – Egg
Hazard classification: Class 2
Company / Firm: Kent Heritage Farm
Distribution: Ontario
Extent of the distribution: Consumer
Reference number: 9157
Recalled products

Brand Name Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC Additional Info
None Chicken Burgers 2.27kg All codes where egg is not declared on the label. N/A Product sold through direct home sales.

(Source: CFIA website)

Food Recall in US – Allergens – LEAN CUISINE® Culinary Collection Chicken with Peanut Sauce

Shelled-Fresh-Shrimps

Recall Due to Package Mislabeling

Nestlé Prepared Foods Company Announces Allergy Alert and Voluntary Recall Of LEAN CUISINE® Culinary Collection Chicken with Peanut Sauce

August 22, 2014 – Nestlé Prepared Foods Company, a business unit of Nestlé USA, is initiating the voluntary recall of a limited quantity of LEAN CUISINE® Culinary Collection Chicken with Peanut Sauce/UPC code 13800 10154 because it may contain undeclared shrimp. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to shrimp run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

The affected product is marked with a production code of 4165595911U and has a “best before” date of JULY 2015. A small quantity of LEAN CUISINE Culinary Collection Shrimp Alfredo was inadvertently placed into packaging for LEAN CUISINE Culinary Collection Chicken with Peanut Sauce.

Three consumers who purchased the mislabeled product alerted Nestlé to this issue. To date, no illnesses or allergic reactions have been reported. Nestlé issued this voluntary recall of one hour code of production to ensure the safety of consumers with shellfish allergies.

Consumers who may have purchased LEAN CUISINE Culinary Collection Chicken with Peanut Sauce /UPC code 13800 10154should look for the manufacturing code, located in the grey box, on the right side panel of the package. The manufacturing code of the recalled product is: 4165595911U. No other LEAN CUISINE items are impacted by this recall. The affected product was distributed to retail customers in Washington State, California, Louisiana and Texas, and can be found in the frozen food aisle. Nestlé asks consumers to contact us for a full refund by calling Nestlé Consumer Services directly at 1-800-392-4057 Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST.

The quality and safety of our products are the top priority for our company. For these reasons, the company initiated this recall. We apologize to our retail customers and consumers and sincerely regret any inconvenience created by this product recall. We have advised the U. S. Food & Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture of this voluntary recall and will cooperate with them fully.

Contact:
Consumer:
1-800-392-4057

Media:
Roz O’Hearn, Nestlé USA:
(440) 264-5170
Roz.OHearn@us.nestle.com

Edie Burge, Nestlé USA
(818) 551-3284
Edie.Burge@us.nestle.com

(Source: FDA website. No copyright claim is made for portions of this blog and linked items that are works of the United States Government, state governments or third parties.)

EU to ease import conditions for sunflower oil from Ukraine

Sunflower-Oil1

“Today I publish another article of my friend and food lawyer in Lisbon, Francesco Montanari, written in cooperation with his colleague Veronika Jèzso; thank you both for this and for your great expertise on food import requirements”.

Early in July this year the European Commission in agreement with Member States decided to relax special imports conditions currently applicable to sunflower oil originating from Ukraine.  Import conditions are currently set out in Regulation (EC) No 1151/2009. By adopting Regulation (EU) No 853/2014, the Commission has formally repealed the existing emergency measures with effect as of 26 August 2014.

According to the Commission, the decision of easing the level of import surveillance on sunflower oil from Ukraine is justified by the absence of notifications reported through the Rapid Alert System for Feed and Food (RASFF) over the past few years. This decision is, however, also politically motivated in that it aims at reducing pressure on the trade and the economy of a country that is experiencing considerable turmoil and instability.

With special import conditions poised to be lifted, sunflower oil from Ukraine will be subjected to the general EU import regime for food of non-animal origin as designed by Article 15 (1) Regulation (EC) No 882/2004.  This means that national enforcement authorities will still be able to target consignments of Ukrainian sunflower oil in the context of routine checks at EU borders or in the market.

The following paragraphs provides a brief account of a) the events that led to the adoption of EU emergency measures concerning the imports in question as well as of b) the import procedures that had to be followed till recently.

a) Contamination of sunflower oil with mineral oil

Paraffin oils are petroleum products used in a variety of industry sectors ranging from food production to pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and engineering. Liquid paraffin, also known as ‘mineral oil’, is an odourless and colourless substance of relatively low value  mainly used for preventing water absorption. Paraffin oil is harmful if swallowed or inhaled.

Back in April 2008, the European Commission was notified information through the RASFF of a case of sunflower oil from Ukraine presenting high levels of mineral oil. Consulted on the potential risks ensuing from the contamination, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) pointed out that, taking into account human exposure estimates and the fact that the analysis detected a mineral oil of a high viscosity type, exposure levels, although undesirable, did not constitute a health concern.  Nevertheless, given that the source of contamination could not be identified with certainty, competent authorities in Member States ordered the withdrawal from the market of contaminated sunflower oil and other food containing it.

At EU level, the European Commission introduced interim protection measures through Decision 2008/388/EC, in order to ensure that no exports of sunflower oil reached the EU without being adequately certified and controlled.  Decision 2008/433/EC later confirmed the interim protection measures.

The Food Veterinary Office (FVO) conducted an audit in September 2008, in order to assess the official control system in place in Ukraine. The FVO team found that the Ukrainian authorities had undertaken adequate measures to prevent the contamination of sunflower oil destined to EU import. Yet, investigations carried out by the Ukrainian authorities could not reveal the source of the contamination, mainly because of lack of official sampling and subsequent follow-up. In order to ensure performance of sampling in accordance with the relevant EU provisions (i.e. Regulation (EC) No 333/2007), Regulation 1151/2009 was eventually adopted.

b) Import procedures under Regulation 1151/2009

Applicable as of January 2010, Regulation 1151/2009 applies to crude and refined sunflower seed oil originating or consigned from Ukraine (Article 1). Sunflower oil for EU import must not contain more than 50 mg/kg mineral paraffin (Article 3).

Each consignment of sunflower oil destined for EU import must be accompanied by:

a) a health certificate attesting that the product does not contain more than 50 mg/kg mineral paraffin, and

b) an analytical report, which, issued by an accredited laboratory, indicates the results of sampling and analysis for the presence of mineral oil, the measurement uncertainty of the analytical result, as well as the limits of detection and quantification of the analytical method.

Both documents must be duly signed by an authorised representative of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.

Furthermore, business operators must give prior notification to the first point of entry in the EU, specifying estimated date and time of arrival of the consignment (Article 3).

In terms of control activities, competent authorities in Member States must check that all incoming consignments intended for import are accompanied by the required documents. In order to ensure that relevant products do not contain unacceptable levels of mineral paraffin, national enforcement authorities are as well required to carry out physical inspections, including sampling and analysis, on a random basis (Article 4).

Food recall in Australia – Raw apricot kernels for hydrocyanic acid

apricot kernels

Newstart Heath Supplies has recalled Aprisnax Australian Raw Apricot Kernels from their online store and health food stores nationally, due to high levels of hydrocyanic acid. Food products containing high levels of hydrocyanic acid may cause illness if consumed. Consumers should not eat this product and should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice.

Date notified to FSANZ: 20/08/2014

Food type: Raw apricot kernels from apricot seeds

Product name: Aprisnax Australian Raw Apricot Kernels

Package description and size: Black Food-grade stand-up pouch, shelf stable – 1kg

Date marking: Best Before NOV 2015

Country of origin: Australia

Reason for recall: High levels of hydrocyanic acid

Distribution: The product has been sold via their online store (www.oznatureshop.com.au) and health food stores nationally

Contact: Newstart Heath Supplies, 0414 493 121, www.oznatureshop.com.au

(Source: FSANZ website)

Food recall in UK – Oaty Muesli – Allergens (almonds – hazelnuts)

??????

Sainsbury’s Freefrom Oaty Muesli recalled today because a limited number of packets may contain almonds and hazelnuts, which are not declared on the label.

Product name: Sainsbury’s Freefrom Oaty Muesli
Pack size: 500g
‘Best before’ date: 17 December 2014

No other Sainsbury’s products are known to be affected.

If you have bought the above product and are allergic to almonds and/or hazelnuts, do not eat it. Instead, return it to the nearest Sainsbury’s store for a full refund.

Sainsbury’s has recalled the above product from sale. Point-of-sale notices have been displayed in stores. In addition, the company has contacted the relevant allergy support organisations which will inform their at-risk members of the recall.

(Source: FSA UK website)

Written Q&A to EU Commission – Mangoes import ban from India

mango

Question for written answer
to the Commission
Glenis Willmott (S&D)

Subject: Mango ban

In March 2014 the European Union banned imports of mangoes (and some other produce) from India. The ban came into force at the beginning of May, coinciding with the high season for the mangoes. The ban was proposed because the fruit was repeatedly found to be infested with pests, despite previous warnings that plant health measures had to be improved.

My region of the East Midlands of England is particularly affected by the ban, due to our strong links with India. Of course restricting invasive pests is vital, as they can cause a huge number of problems. However we must also consider the important economic consequences of imposing a lengthy ban.

The ban will be reviewed before December 2015. What measures are being taken to ensure that India improves phytosanitary measures as soon as possible? Does the Commission take the view that a decision could be taken any sooner, so that the ban could be lifted in time for next year’s high season?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission (7th August 2014)

The Honorable Member will be aware that India accounts for the highest number, by far, of interceptions of harmful organisms from any country exporting plants and plant products to the European Union, despite the relatively low volume of trade.

This situation has continued despite communication and technical exchanges with the competent authorities of India. Failure to act led to the necessary adoption of temporary emergency measures prohibiting the import of the most high-risk commodities from India to protect the Union’s plant health status.

India has recently strengthened export checks on plants and plant products that could guarantee compliance with EU import requirements for plant health. While these steps seem to be going in the right direction, the EU measures will only be reviewed once compliance of Indian exports with international and EU requirements are in evidence. At this stage, it is to the competent authorities of India to act and propose the EU satisfactory guarantees that would allow reconsidering trade of safe commodities to resume.

(Source: EU Parliament)

Food recalls in EU – Week 31 – 2014

Coulommiers_lait_cru

This week on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we have six recalls from consumers in EU in the alert notifications:

Allergens: undeclared wheat in liquorice, following a consumer complaint. Origin Spain, relabelled in Denmark, notified by Denmark and distributed also to Germany;

Foreign bodies: glass fragments in dry sausages, following a consumer complaint. Origin France, notified by France, distributed also to Slovenia;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in chilled smoked trout, following company’s own check. Origin Spain, notified by France;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in gorgonzola, following company’s own check. Origin Italy, notified by  France, distributed also to Denmark and Germany;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: shigatoxin-producing Escherichia Coli in cow’s milk cheese made with raw milk, following company’s own check. Origin France, notified by France, distributed also to Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom;

Pesticide residues: dimethoate in fresh green celery, following an official control on the market. Origin Belgium, notified by Belgium, distributed also to Luxembourg and France.

Between the information for attention notifications, followed by a recall from consumers, we find:

Food additives and flavourings: too high content of  E210 – benzoic acid in soft drink, following an official control on the market. Origin Vietnam, notified by Denmark;

Pesticide residues: carbendazim in courgettes, following an official control on the market. Origin Jordan, notified by Denmark.

Between the alert notifications, followed by a withdrawal from the market of the product, we find:

Composition: unauthorised substance progesterone in food supplement, following an official control on the market. Origin Czech Republic, notified by Czech Republic, distributed also to Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Moldova, Slovakia and Slovenia;

Composition: unauthorised ingredient (androgenic anabolic steroid) in food supplement, following an official control on the market. Origin Bulgaria, notified by Czech Republic;

Industrial contaminants: benzo(a)pyrene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in cocoa bean powder, following an official control on the market. Origin Spain, notified by Slovakia;

Mycotoxins: Ochratoxin A in organic bread, following company’s own check. Origin Germany, notified by Germany, distributed also to Austria, France, Italy, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella spp. in Asian assortment, following company’s own check. Origin France, notified by Belgium, distributed also to Luxembourg;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella in madras curry powder, following company’s own check. Origin Belgium, notified by United Kingdom;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: foodborne outbreak suspected (Salmonella enteritidis) to be caused by eggs, following food poisoning. Origin Germany, notified by France;

Pesticide residues: tebuconazole and trifloxystrobin in mangoes, following company’s own check. Origin Pakistan, notified by Belgium, distributed also to Germany, Iceland, Italy and Netherlands.

Amongst border rejections we have Salmonella in frozen boneless skinless marinated chicken inner fillets, frozen salted chicken innerfillets, frozen spiced turkey medallions, frozen turkey and poultry meat preparation from Brazil, unauthorised substance dichlorvos, cypermethrin and chlorpyriphos in dried oloyin beans from Nigeria, attempt to illegally import paan leaves from Bangladesh and melon seeds and dried beans from Nigeria, aflatoxins in peanuts, nutmeg powder, crushed chillies, chilli peppers and fried coated groundnuts from India, in blanched peanuts from China, in pistachios from Iran, in shelled pistachio kernels from Iran (via Turkey), in groundnuts in shell from Egypt and in apricot kernels from Tajikistan (via Turkey), high bacterial count in and spoilage of sheep casings from Pakistan, live insects in cinnamon from Indonesia infested with moulds, chlorpyriphos in chilled asparagus peas from the Dominican Republic, methamidophos in green beans from Kenya, malathion in fresh peppers from Turkey, too high content of sulphite in dried pineapple and mango bites from Philippines, dimethoate in mangetout peas from Kenya, methamidophos and acephate in French beans with pods from Kenya, chlorfenapyr in papaya from Brazil, unauthorised substance carbofuran in peppers from the Dominican Republic, unauthorised substances sildenafil and tadalafil in food supplement dispatched from China, buprofezin, triazophos and imidacloprid in tea from China and anthraquinone and unauthorised substance dicrotophos in tea from China, via Hong Kong.

For feed, we have an information for follow up notification, followed by a recall from consumers:

- Composition: too high content of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) in complementary feed for honeybees, following an official control on the market. Origin Germany, notified by Belgium.

For food contact materials we have border rejections for migration of manganese from egg beaters and of chromium and nickel from wine stopper from China.

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GFSI paper on mitigation of food frauds effects

food frauds

In July 2014 GFSI released a paper on mitigation of food frauds.

Inscatech applauds the Global Food Safety Initiative (“GFSI”) in their decision to include new requirements specific to food fraud mitigation in the next full revision of the GFSI Guidance Document (7th Edition) to be released in 2016. Details can be found in GFSI’s position paper, “GFSI Position on Mitigating the Public Health Risk of Food Fraud”, released on July 14, 2014.

Inscatech was a key member of the GFSI Board Sponsored Food Fraud Think Tank which was convened to further advance the Food Fraud mitigation topic, and was instrumental having its recommendations adopted by the GFSI Board of Directors. Its fellow Food Fraud Think Tank members included Eurofins, who brought perspectives on analytical testing and certification, and Michigan State University’s Food Fraud Initiative, an interdisciplinary, education and outreach organization. The manufacturers and retailers perspectives on the Think Tank were represented by Danone, Walmart and Royal Ahold respectively. Inscatech congratulates its colleagues on the Food Fraud Think Tank for collaboratively achieving this groundbreaking advancement in Food Fraud prevention.

The new GFSI requirements specify that companies perform Food Fraud vulnerability assessments and implement a Food Fraud vulnerability control plan to mitigate identified vulnerabilities (“The Think Tank recommends that two fundamental steps are taken by the food industry to aid in the mitigation of Food Fraud: firstly, to carry out a “food fraud vulnerability assessment” in which information is collected at the appropriate points along the supply chain (including raw materials, ingredients, [finished] products, packaging) and evaluated to identify and prioritize significant vulnerabilities for food fraud”, “Secondly, ‘appropriate control measures shall be put in place to reduce the risks’ from these vulnerabilities. These control measures can include monitoring strategy, a testing strategy, origin verification, specification management, supplier audits, and anti-counterfeit technologies. A clearly documented control plan outlines when, where and how to mitigate fraudulent activities.”)

GFSI formally defined a broad definition of Food Fraud to include adulteration, but also all fraud – explicitly including misbranding and stolen good (“Food Fraud, including the subcategory of economically motivated adulteration, is of growing concern.  It is deception of consumers using food products, ingredients and packaging for economic gain and includes substitution, unapproved enhancements, misbranding, counterfeiting, stolen goods or others”) and it could be linked to public health issues (“The GFSI Board recognizes that the driver of a food fraud incident might be economic gain, but if a public health threat arises from the effects of an adulterated product, this will lead to a food safety incident.”)

Inscatech is the first and only company currently providing Food Fraud vulnerability assessments and control plans. Inscatech is a Food Fraud detection and prevention company. The only company of its kind, Inscatech has established a solid reputation in the food industry as both a pioneer and the sole provider of food fraud intelligence investigations, forensically based vulnerability assessments, supplier qualification examinations, validated supply chain mapping, and food fraud vulnerability control programs. Through its work with many of the largest food producers and retail grocery conglomerates globally, Inscatech is leading the food industry towards a harmonized and systematic approach to protecting the safety and authenticity of the global food supply.

For more information, please visit: www.inscatech.com or contact me directly.

Italy: deficiencies in the bovine, ovine and caprine brucellosis eradication plans

Bos_taurus_taurus_relaxing

The FVO (Food Veterinary Office) visited Italy from 7th to 15th October 2013 to evaluate the implementation of bovine, ovine and caprine brucellosis eradication programmes in the south of the MS. The audit team found severe deficiencies in the actual official controls system and in the national legislation. The report issued 11 recommendations to the competent Authorities.

“The objective of the audit was to evaluate the implementation of the bovine brucellosis and ovine and caprine brucellosis eradication programmes, approved by Commission Decision 2012/761/EU and associated animal and public health controls.

In addition to extraordinary measures foreseen for the eradication of brucellosis in the four Southern most affected regions, resources have been reinforced and further measures have been introduced in Calabria. Compulsory electronic identification in this region represent a major improvement in an environment of frequent illegal movements. The level of application and enforcement of the measures in Puglia was significantly lower, in part due to weaknesses in legislation in place at national level.

The complex movements between holdings, involving multiple dealers and fattening herds, of an unknown brucellosis status, represent a risk for the spread of the disease, which is insufficiently controlled, because of the non-application by the official services of the legal requirements for dealers, and the absence of channelling foreseen in the approved eradication plan.

Brucellosis cases are reliably detected at laboratories. Effective measures are taken in holdings when outbreaks are detected, but epidemiological investigations remain rudimentary and incomplete. The useful databases and tools available are not used to their full potential. The definition of epidemiological units in problematic areas was sometimes deficient, having a direct impact on the efficacy of the measures applied.

The specific zoonosis risk represented by the dairy establishments manufacturing products from non-pasteurised milk is insufficiently addressed by official controls. Illegal vaccination of adult buffaloes, with a potential to affect human health through milk, was detected; the current routine diagnostic tests are not adapted to identify such vaccinations.

The actions taken by the CA in the wake of the recommendations from previous FVO audits have not been implemented sufficiently to address most issues.”

Brucellosis is a contagious disease of livestock with significant economic impact.

The disease is caused by various bacteria of the family Brucella, which tend to infect a specific animal species. However, most species of Brucella are able to infect other animal species as well. It affects cattle, swine, sheep and goats, camels, equines, and dogs. It may also infect other ruminants, some marine mammals and humans.

The disease in animals is characterized by abortions or reproductive failure. While animals typically recover, and will be able to have live offspring following the initial abortion, they may continue to shed the bacteria.

Food recalls in EU – Week 30 – 2014

lead

This week on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we have two recalls from consumers in EU in the alert notifications:

Heavy metals: lead in Moringa oleifera food supplement, following an official control on the market. Origin Germany, notified by Germany, distributed also to Austria, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland;

Allergens: undeclared peanut in thai chicken panang, following an official control on the market. Origin Thailand (via Denmark), notified by Ireland, distributed also to United Kingdom.

Between the information for attention notifications, followed by a recall from consumers, we find:

Foreign bodies: glass fragments in sliced mushrooms in glass jars, following a consumer complaint. Origin China, notified by Germany;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Campylobacter in fresh mushrooms, following company’s own check. Origin Poland, notified by Denmark.

Between the alert notifications, followed by a withdrawal from the market of the product, we find:

Allergens: undeclared celery in instant chicken soup, following company’s own check. Origin Norway, notified by Norway, distributed also to Iceland;

Biotoxins: Staphylococcal enterotoxin in frozen escolar fillets, following a consumer complaint. Origin Ecuador, notified by Germany, distributed also to Austria, Italy and Netherlands;

Industrial contaminants: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in smoked sprats in vegetable oil, following an official control on the market. Origin Latvia, notified by Poland;

Mycotoxins: aflatoxins in organic paprika, following an official control on the market. Origin France, notified by Luxembourg;

Mycotoxins: aflatoxins in roasted peanuts without shell, following an official control on the market. Origin Poland, notified by Slovakia;

Mycotoxins: Ochratoxin A in dried seedless grapes, following an official control on the market. Origin Turkey (via Austria), notified by Germany.

Amongst border rejections we have cadmium in frozen cooked mussels from Chile, unauthorised genetically modified flour from China, anthraquinone in green tea from China, Salmonella in frozen poultry meat preparation from Thailand, aflatoxins in pistachios from Iran, in pistachio kernels from United States and from Turkey (raw material from Afghanistan), in peanuts from China and United States, in shelled peanuts from Sudan, in blanched groundnut kernels from China and in herb mix from Pakistan, Ochratoxin A in dried raisins from Afghanistan, absence of health certificate(s) for melon seeds from Nigeria, fipronil in fresh coriander from Thailand, too high content of sulphites in dried apricots from Turkey, unauthorised substance dichlorvos in oloyin beans and white beans from Nigeria, carbosulfan and carbofuran in yardlong beans and diafenthiuron in fresh peppers from Dominican Republic.

For feed, we have an alert notification, followed by the destruction of the product:

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella Cerro in dried pig ears, following an official control on the market. Origin France (via Germany), notified by Austria;

and border rejections for unauthorised genetically modified cotton seeds (MON 15985 and possibly MON 531) from Cote d’Ivoire.

For food contact materials we have an alert notification, followed by a recall from consumers:

- Migration of primary aromatic amines from plastic spaghetti spoon, following an official control on the market. Origin China (via Spain), notified by France;

and an information for follow up, followed by a recall from consumers:

- Heavy metals: migration of chromium from barbecue skewers, following an official control on the market. Origin China (via Germany), notified by Finland.

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Food recalls in EU – Week 29 – 2014

Asparagus

This week on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we don’t have any recall from consumers in EU in the alert notifications.

Between the information for attention notifications, followed by a recall from consumers, we find:

Foreign bodies: glass fragments in asparagus, following a consumer complaint. Origin China, notified by Germany;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Campylobacter spp. in chilled chicken breast fillets, following an official control on the market. Origin Poland, notified by Denmark;

- Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in heat processed pork sausage “boudin blanc”, following company’s own check. Origin France, notified by France, distributed also to United Kingdom.

Between the alert notifications, followed by a withdrawal from the market of the product, we find:

Allergens: undeclared gluten in gluten free beer, following company’s own check. Origin Germany, notified by Germany, distributed also to Italy, France, Netherlands and Romania;

Biotoxins: Diarrhoeic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) toxins in chilled mussels, following an official control on the market. Origin Denmark, notified by Denmark, distributed also to Netherlands;

Mycotoxins: deoxynivalenol (DON) in organic whole wheat shortbread and organic whole grain cracker, following an official control on the market. Origin Germany, raw material from Poland, notified by Germany, distributed also to Hong Kong and Denmark;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Norovirus in froze raspberries, following a food poisoning. Origin Serbia (packaged), notified by Sweden, distributed via Belgium and France;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in chilled sliced sirloin, following company’s own check. Origin Poland, notified by Poland, distributed also to United Kingdom;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in gorgonzola cheese, following an official control on the market. Origin Italy, notified by France;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella Spp. in sesame seeds, following company’s own check. Origin India, notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Sweden;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella in minced meat, following company’s own check. Origin Netherlands, notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Denmark and Sweden;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella Brandenburg in processed cheese powder, following company’s own check. Origin Netherlands, notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Hungary and France.

We have also a seizure for Salmonella Saint Paul in frozen poultry and veal kebab, following an official control on the market in Italy; origin Germany.

Amongst border rejections we have aflatoxins in groundnuts from Egypt and from the United States, in pecan nuts from Israel, in raw pistachios in shell from Iran, in peanut candy from India and in unshelled pistachios from the United States; ochratoxin A in pumpkin seeds from China, in dried figs from Turkey, in raisins from Afghanistan and in organic spelt from Ukraine, poor temperature control of frozen whole poultry from Brazil, norovirus in frozen boiled white clams from Vietnam, bacterial contamination and spoilage of frozen cooked shrimps from India, residues above MRL for oxytetracycline in frozen shrimps from Vietnam, benzo(a)pyrene and polycyclic haromatic hydrocarbons in non-refined soybean oil from Ukraine, unauthorised use of colour E 122 – azorubine in pickles from Lebanon, dimethoate in fresh peppers from Turkey, clorpyriphos, cypermethrin, cyhalothrin and dichlorvos in fresh olu beans from Nigeria, cypermethrin and dichlorvos in fresh oloyn beans and in oluyin beans from Nigeria.

For feed, we have an alert notification, followed by a withdrawal from the market for:

- Residues of veterinary medicinal product: prohibited substance nitrofuran (metabolite) furazolidone (AOZ) in compound feed, following an official control on the market. Origin Netherlands, notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Germany.

For food contact materials we don’t have any relevant notification this week.

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Guidance on the Determination of Potential Health Effects of Nanomaterials Used in Medical Devices

Dispersed-nanoparticles-used-as-performance-additives

Due to the great interest surrounding nanomaterials, the fights around a possible definition (mainly regarding the scale of these particles), and the recent evaluation of the antimicrobial action of silver nanoparticles, I find interesting this press release from DG Sanco.

Today, the European Commission and its non-food Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR), have launched a public consultation on the preliminary opinion ‘Guidance on the Determination of Potential Health Effects of Nanomaterials Used in Medical Devices’.

The consultation will run until 03 October 2014. Interested parties are invited to provide comments on the scientific evidence of this preliminary opinion online:

http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/open_consultation/index_en.htm

Here you can find the preliminary opinion:

http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/emerging/docs/scenihr_o_045.pdf

The aim of the opinion is to address the use of nanomaterials in medical devices and to provide information for risk assessors regarding specific aspects that need to be considered in the safety evaluation of nanomaterials. According to the EU Recommendation for the definition of a nanomaterial ( Commission Recommendation 2011/969/EU, EC 2011) any particulate substance with at least one dimension in the size range between 1 and 100 nm is considered a nanomaterial. These particles (nanoparticles) exhibit specific characteristics that differ from the characteristics of larger sized particles with the same chemical composition.

This Guidance is aimed at providing information to help with safety evaluation and risk assessment on the use of nanomaterials in medical devices and it should be considered in conjunction with the ISO 10993-1:2009 standard ‘Biological evaluation of medical devices’. The Guidance highlights the need for special considerations in relation to the safety evaluation of nanomaterials, in view of the possible distinct properties, interactions, and effects that may differ from conventional forms of the same materials.

For the risk evaluation of the use of nanomaterials in medical devices, the SCENIHR recommends a phased approach based on potential release and characteristics of the nanomaterials.

For more information on the work of the Commission’s independent scientific committees:

http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/policy/index_en.htm

(Source: DG Sanco)

Plant health: Xylella fastidiosa outbreak in Italy and damages to olive trees

Olive_trees_on_Thassos

Xylella fastidiosa is a bacterium in the class Gammaproteobacteria, is an important plant pathogen that causes phoney peach disease in the southern United States, bacterial leaf scorcholeander leaf scorch, and Pierce’s disease, and citrus variegated chlorosis disease (CVC) in Brazil.

Recently found for the first time on EU territories, the strain of Xylella fastidiosa identified in Italy (province of Lecce, in the Apulia region) attacks mainly olive trees, which show leaf scorching, branch desiccation and quick decline symptoms, leading in the most severe cases to the death of the trees. Olive cultivation is widespread throughout the Mediterranean region and is vital for the rural economy, local heritage and the environment.

On November 2013, EFSA provided urgent advice to the Commission, stating that:

Transmitted by certain types of sap-sucking hopper insects, the bacteria X. fastidiosa, has been identified in the current disease outbreak that has affected 8000 hectares of olive trees in the Puglia region of Southern Italy.  The bacteria can be hosted in a very broad range of plants including almond, peach, plum, apricot, grapevines, citrus, coffee and olive as well as oak, elm, Ginkgo and sunflower. Importantly, plants can carry the bacteria without showing signs of disease.

X.fastidiosa is regulated as a harmful organism in the European Union (EU), whose introduction into, and spread within, all Member States is banned. In light of the current outbreak, the European Commission requested EFSA to provide urgent scientific advice outlining the list of known plant hosts, identifying the different ways that infected plant species and carrier insects could enter the EU as well as identifying and evaluating possible preventive measures.

Plant health experts at EFSA have concluded that X. fastidiosa has a very broad range of known host plants in the EU, including many grown for agricultural production as well as indigenous wild species common in Europe.  Additionally, there are a large number of species that could potentially be infected by the bacteria but have never been exposed, making it difficult to establish what the likely impact would be.  Importantly, the sap-sucking hopper insects found in the EU that could potentially carry the disease are likely to have different feeding habits and patterns. As the only natural means for spreading X. fastidiosa is by the sap-sucking hopper insects that generally can fly short distances of up to 100 metres, movement of infected plants for planting is the most efficient way for long-distance dispersal of X. fastidiosa. In addition, the transport of the insects that carry the bacteria in plant shipments and consignments has been identified as a concern.  The main source of X. fastidiosa into the EU is therefore trade and thereafter the movement of plants intended for planting.

Other potential sources of infection were assessed including fruit, wood, cut flowers, seeds and ornamental foliage. However, these were considered either negligible or low in terms of potential pathways for introduction of the bacteria. There is no record of successful eradication of X. fastidiosa once it has been established outdoors.

EFSA therefore recommends that preventative strategies for containment of outbreaks should focus on the two main routes of infection (plants for planting and infective insects in plant consignments) and be based on an integrated system approach.”

Following this rapid assessment, EFSA’s Plant Health Panel will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the risk posed by this bacteria Xylella fastidiosa to the EU crops and plants. In February 2014, on the ground of emergency the EU adopted the Commission Implementing Decision of 13 February 2014 as regards measures to prevent the spread within the Union of Xylella fastidiosa (Decision 2014/87/EU).

The measures provide conditions on the import and movement of particular plants which host, or are likely to host this bacterium, its timely identification in the affected areas as well as its eradication. They include obligations to notify any outbreak, official annual surveys, demarcation of infected areas, sampling, testing and monitoring, and removal and destruction of infected plants.

Here above you can find, finally, the FVO report (just published) of an audit performed in Italy from 10th to 14th February 2014, assessign the situation. The findings are not so positive and the audit team issued 10 recommendations to the Competent Authorities:

“The objective of the audit was to evaluate the situation and official controls for Xylella fastidiosa (Well and Raju) (hereafter “Xf”). This organism is listed as a harmful organism in Annex I, Section A, Part I of Council Directive 2000/29/EC, which means that it is not present in the EU and if found, Member States must eradicate it, or if that is impossible, inhibit its spread.

It was identified in the Lecce province in the Puglia region of Italy in October 2013. As part of a complex of harmful organisms it has caused devastating die back in olive groves over a substantial area in Lecce. In view of the seriousness of this organism and the potential risk to the EU, this audit was added to the FVOs planned 2014 audit programme.

The audit found that, the competent authorities have taken significant steps since the finding of a new strain of Xf (Salento strain) in Lecce province, in October 2013. Based on regional legislation, adopted in 2013, measures are in place establishing conditions for the production and movement of plants for planting in nurseries located in Lecce province. An extensive survey activity is still being carried out in order to delimit the spread of the disease in the province and to define infected and buffer zones. However, significant parts of the survey were not carried out in the most favourable time of the year. The survey is planned to be concluded by the end of March 2014.

No eradication or containment measures have been taken and the disease has spread very rapidly. Diseased trees are left in place, acting as a reservoir of infection. Unless action is taken, further rapid spread of the disease must therefore be anticipated.

The ELISA test for plant species other than olive is not yet fully reliable. In addition, the testing of dormant woody material (e.g. Vitis) during the winter and the limited sample sizes used also affect the reliability of the testing. In these circumstances, there is a risk of obtaining false negative results. Until this is addressed the authorities cannot say for sure that plants listed in the annexes of Decision 2014/87/EU are actually free from Xf prior to permitting their movement within the EU.

This represents a potential risk of spreading the organism to other parts of Italy and to other Member States. Although research work has been carried out and is continuing, key factors regarding the epidemiology of Xf remain to be clarified”

Food recalls in EU – Week 28

lasagna-supreme

This week on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we have two recalls from consumers in EU in the alert notifications:

- Organoleptic aspects: too low acidity in white lasagna sauce, following company’s own check. Origin Switzerland, notified by United Kingdom, distributed also to Ireland;

Composition: unauthorised substance sibutramine and sildenafil in food supplement, following an official control on the market. Origin Netherlands, notified by France.

Between the alert notifications, followed by a withdrawal from the market of the product, we find:

Heavy metals: mercury in frozen swordfish steaks, following an official control on the market. Origin Spain, notified by Italy;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in chilled smoked salmon, following company’s own check. Origin Poland, notified by France;

Poor or insufficient controls: inadequate thermal processing in frozen cordon bleu, following company’s own check. Origin Germany, notified by Netherlands;

Pesticide residues: metamidophos in pattypan, following a company’s own check. Origin South Africa, notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Qatar, Romania and United Kingdom;

We have also a seizure for suspicion of shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli in frozen deer meat from Germany. Notified by Belgium, distributed also to Italy.

Amongst border rejections we have aflatoxins in peanuts from China, salted pistachio nuts from Iran, shelled pistachios from Turkey, groundnut kernels from India (via Egypt) and Bombay biryani spice mix from Pakistan. Ochratoxin A in chili powder from Mexico, high count of Enterobacteriaceae in brine shrimp eggs from China, poor temperature control of frozen shallow-water cape hake from Namibia, residue level above MRL for oxytetracycline in frozen shrimps from Vietnam, carbendazim in green tea extract from China and in fresh lemons from Argentina, formetanate and clofentezine in fresh peppers from Turkey, etoxazole in green beans and chlorothalonil in snow pea from Kenya, imazalil and orthophenylphenol in oranges from Egypt, methamidophos, monocrotophos and acephate in okra from India, bitertanol and abamectin in yard long beans from the Dominican Republic, dithiocarbamates, malathion, lambda-cyhalothrin, dimethomorph, azoxystrobin, boscalid, myclobutanil, pyraclostrobine and quinoxyfen in vine leaves in brine from Turkey.

For feed, we have a border rejection for Salmonella Spp. in fish meal from Mauritania.

For food contact materials we have a border rejection for migration of chromium and of manganese from stainless steel strainers from China.

Related articles

FVO report – GM Papaya export from Thailand

papaya-ringworm

This report is of extreme interest because it refers to one of the emerging problems stressed by RASFF notifications and statistics during the last months.

The report describes the outcome of a Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audit in Thailand, carried out between 29 January to 07 February 2014. Genetically modified (GM) papaya is not authorised in the European Union (EU). The objective of the audit was to assess the system of controls to ensure that GM papaya and GM papaya products are not exported to the EU.

The audit was carried out due to RASFF notifications of genetically modified organism (GMO) in papaya and papaya products from Thailand issued in 2012 and 2013. Although GM papaya has never been authorised for cultivation in Thailand, the CA detected a
significant presence of GM papaya. The origin of the GM papaya is not known. There is an incentive for farmers to use GM papaya as non-GM plants are susceptible to the serious disease PRSV. The farmers met had been using farm saved papaya seed for a number of years and the original seed was sourced before official GMO controls started.

In response to the RASFF notifications issued by the EU from 2012, the CA has put in place a system to ensure that GM papaya is not exported to the EU. The system is based on obligatory export certification, and papaya intended for export to the EU must be sampled and analysed for GMO presence. However, DOA does not verify whether sampling for export certification is representative. The CA requires GMP certification of packing facilities and performs official annual surveillance schemes. Certification of papaya growers to the GAP scheme is encouraged and includes systematic testing for GMOs. However, GAP certification is currently not compulsory and a number of growers of papaya for export to the EU are not certified.

Some shortcomings were identified in the GMO laboratories such as sensitivity and quality control procedures. Official controls are supported by additional private controls.

While the control measures are capable of ensuring that papaya exported to the EU is not GM, the system put in place requires more time to be completed. At the time of the audit it was too early to conclude on its effectiveness.

 

Food recalls in EU – Week 27

Clostridium_difficile

This week on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we have one recall from consumers in EU in the alert notifications:

Allergens: undeclared wheat in ice cream, following company’s own check. Origin Finland, notified by Finland, distributed also to Estonia.

Between the information for attention, followed by a recall from consumers:

Foreign bodies: metal pieces in canned sardines in oil, following company’s own check. Origin Portugal, notified by France.

Between the alert notifications, followed by a withdrawal from the market of the product, we find:

Pathogenic micro-organisms: suspicion of Clostridium Botulinum in pesto sauce with black truffles, following food poisoning. Origin Hungary, notified by Hungary, distributed also to Hong Kong and Slovakia;

- Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella enteritidis in frozen chicken leg, following an official control on the market. Origin Poland, notified by Latvia;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella typhimurium in frozen chicken carcasses, following company’s own check. Origin France, notified by France, distributed also to Bulgaria, Guadeloupe, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Caledonia, Portugal, United Arab Emirates and Macedonia;

Mycotoxins: aflatoxins in sunflower seeds, following an official control on the market. Origin Argentina (via United Kingdom), notified by Germany;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: enteropathogenic Escherichia Coli in raw goat milk cheese, following an official control on the market. Origin France, notified by France, distributed also to Belgium, Gabon, Germany, Luxembourg, South Africa and Switzerland;

Poor or insufficient controls: inadequate thermal processing on chilled liver sausage, following a consumer complaint. Origin Poland, notified by Poland, distributed also to Sweden;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: foodborne outbreak caused by Salmonella enteritidis in deep frozen pork tenderloin, following food poisoning. Origin Hungary, notified by Slovakia;

Residues of medicinal veterinary products: prohibited substance diethylstilbestrol in pork, following an official control on the market. Origin Denmark/Germany, notified by Germany, distributed also to Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States;

- Organoleptic aspects: unsuitable organoleptic characteristics in cocktail shrimps, following a consumer complaint. Origin India, notified by Germany, distributed also to Belgium, Netherlands and Poland.

Amongst border rejections we have Salmonella spp. in boneless bovine meat from Brazil and in frozen poultry preparation from Argentina, suspicion of shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli in chilled boneless beef from Argentina, aflatoxins in groundnut kernels from China and chilli powder from India, absence of certified analytical report and of Common Entry Document (CED) for melon seeds from Nigeria, frozen cheese from the United States with defective packaging, illegal import of and Salmonella spp. in paan leaves from Bangladesh, unauthorised genetically modified papaya from Thailand, chlorpyriphos-methyl in chickpeas from Argentina, cypermethrin and cyhalothrin in chilli peppers from the Dominican Republic, formetanate in fresh peppers from Turkey, poor temperature control of frozen tuna from South Africa and frozen squid, mercury in frozen squid from Peru, benzo(a)pyrene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in non-refined soybean oil from Ukraine, unauthorised substance sildenafil and novel food (Scutellaria elliptica & incana) in food supplement from the United States.

For feed, we don’t have any relevant notification this week.

For food contact materials we have a border rejection for migration of bis(2-ethylhexyl) terephthalate (DOTP) from lid of jar containing garlic paste from Thailand.

Related articles

FVO report – FNAO and primary production in Polonia (sprouts and sprouting seeds)

Escherichia_coli_13776880

This report describes the outcome of a Food and Veterinary Office audit in Poland which took place from 12 to 22 November 2013 under the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and the Council of 29 April 2004.

The objectives of the audit were to evaluate the system of official controls in the area of food hygiene for primary production of Food of Non-Animal Origin (FNAO) and the system of official controls in the area of traceability and import of seeds intended for sprouting and sprouts, microbiological criteria and approval of sprout producing establishments.

Although there are competent authorities designated for official controls in the sectors of primary production of FNAO, the official control system applied is not risk based and cover only production activities during and post harvest in a limited number of establishments. This means that the potential risks arising from microbiological contamination are not systematically taken into account in the planning of official controls. The Polish competent authorities plan to incorporate primary production of FNAO in the risk based official control system. The shortcoming identified in the capacity of the official control laboratories visited could affect the reliability of the analytical results for Verocytotoxin producing Escherichia coli testing.

The Union legislation on seeds intended for sprouting and sprouts has not been adequately implemented. There are deficiencies concerning the approval of sprouting establishments as required by Regulation (EU) No 210/2013 and the own-check systems for monitoring of food safety criteria for sprouts as required by Regulation (EC) No 7023/2005.

The report makes a number of recommendations to the competent authorities aimed at rectifying the shortcomings identified and enhancing the implementation of control measures.

FSA released revised E.coli O157 control of cross-contamination guidance

E.coli O157 H7

The FSA E.coli O157 control of cross-contamination guidance has been revised and updated to take into account the results from independent research into the effectiveness of disinfecting complex equipment, and the views of industry and local authority stakeholders. The aim of the guidance is to ensure that businesses manage the risk to consumer health from the presence of E.coli in food.

The revised guidance will be published for an eight-week review period (from 4th July to 29th August 2014), allowing businesses and others to provide comments on the revised guidance that they would like to be considered.

The revised guidance clarifies that:

  • Businesses do not need to have separate areas for handling raw and ready to eat foods (RTE) where they can demonstrate that separation by time with effective cleaning and disinfection will manage the risk of cross-contamination.
  • Less complex equipment, such as temperature probes, mixers and weighing scales, may be used for both raw and RTE foods subject to the business being able to demonstrate that such equipment will be effectively cleaned and disinfected between uses.
  • It may now be possible to effectively clean and disinfect vacuum packers, slicers and mincers between uses as long as such machines are completely dismantled to allow all surfaces to be thoroughly cleaned. In practice, however, it is unlikely to be practical for a business to regularly change the use of vacuum packers as a competent engineer would need to undertake what is a complicated dismantling and reassembling process. However, cleaning to allow a more permanent change of use, for example to re-commission and buy and sell second-hand vacuum packers, may be feasible. In the case of slicers and mincers, dismantling, cleaning and disinfecting may be more straightforward but is unlikely to be feasible during normal business operations. Businesses wishing to use such machines for raw and RTE foods would need to fully assess the risks and to demonstrate to the relevant local authority that cleaning between uses will provide effective controls.

Food recalls in EU – Week 26 – 2014

cauliflower-212x159-480x360

This week on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we have one recall from consumers in EU in the alert notifications:

Pesticide residues: dimethoate in cauliflower, following an official control on the market. Origin Belgium, notified by Belgium, distributed also to Luxembourg, and France.

Between the information for attention, followed by a recall from consumers:

- Pesticide residues: unauthorised substance carbofuran in limes, following a border control. Origin Brazil, notified by Italy.

Between the alert notifications, followed by a withdrawal from the market of the product, we find:

Biotoxins: Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins in shucked scallop, following an official control on the market. Origin United Kingdom, notified by United Kingdom, distributed also to France;

Foreign bodies: stones (3mm) in bulgur, following an official control on the market. Origin Turkey (via Germany), notified by Austria;

Mycotoxins: Ochratoxin A in raisins, following an official control on the market. Origin Uzbekistan, notified by Slovakia, distributed also to Austria and Slovenia;

Mycotoxins: alfatoxins in sunflower seeds, following an official control on the market. Origin Argentina (via United Kingdom), notified by Germany;

- Residues of medicinal veterinary products: prohibited substance nitrofuran (metabolite) furazolidone (AOZ) in veal, following an official control on the market. Origin Netherlands, notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Belgium, France, Germany and Italy;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella kedougou in raw milk cheese Reblochon, following food poisoning. Origin France, notified by France, distributed also to Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Caledonia, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.

Amongst border rejections we have Hepatitis A virus in razor shells from Morocco, norovirus (group I) in frozen boiled saltwater clams from Vietnam, shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli in frozen lamb meat from New Zealand, unauthorised genetically modified rice cakes from China, carbendazim in basmati rice from Pakistan and in fresh bell peppers and peppers from Turkey, prohibited substance nitrofuran (metabolite) furazolidone (AOZ) in frozen peeled shrimps from India, residue level above MRL for tetracycline in frozen shrimps from Vietnam, unauthorised placing on the market (Azadirachta indica) of food supplement from India, malathion in white pea beans from Ethiopia, formetanate in fresh peppers from Turkey, chlorpyriphos-methyl in olives in brine from Egypt, dried apricots from Uzbekistan infested with live larvae of insectsSalmonella spp. in paan leaves and sesame seeds from India and in frozen poultry meat preparation from Brazil, high content of biogenous amines in frozen dried lizard fish (raw) from Thailand, unauthorised substance dichlorvos in dried beans and profenofos, cypermethrin and cyhalothrin and unauthorised substance dichlorvos in beans from Nigeria, too high content of E 211 – sodium benzoate in mango juice drink from Pakistan, absence of health certificate(s) and absence of certified analytical report for sesame and groundnuts paste from China, via Hong Kong, poor temperature control of frozen hens crests from Argentina and of frozen poultry meat from Brazil, aflatoxins in peanuts and groundnuts in shell from China.

For feed, we don’t have any relevant notification this week.

For food contact materials we have border rejections for absence of declaration of compliance for plastic barrels intended for food contact from Morocco, migration of bis(2-ethylhexyl) terephthalate (DOTP) from lids of glass jars containing coriander paste from Thailand and migration of chromium, of nickel and of manganese from oil cruet with cork bottle cap from China.

Related articles

FVO Reports – Pesticide controls in UK? Not the best probably…

FoodLawfinal

From the following report of the Food Veterinary Office (here you can read the executive summary) seems that United Kingdoms not doing so well about pesticides controls. Click here to read and download the full report.

The report describes the outcome of a Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audit in the United Kingdom, carried out between 14 to 22 October 2013, under the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official food and feed controls and Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 on the placing of plant protection products on the market.

The objective of the audit was to evaluate the system of authorisation and the controls on the marketing and use of pesticides. A comprehensive system is in place in the UK for the authorisation of pesticides. Authorisation procedures are fully in line with EU requirements. However, the deadlines prescribed in EU legislation for authorisation and re-registration of pesticides are not met in about ten percent of the cases.

There are no systematic, risk-based controls on the marketing of pesticides. Compliance of pesticides with requirements of the authorisation, including labels are not checked at distributors. Instead, investigations are initiated only in response to complaints or information on potential non-compliances obtained from external sources. There are certain initiatives for coordinated controls by the relevant authorities in order to combat illegal pesticides.

Although the formulation laboratory has the necessary capability for comprehensive controls, the number of pesticide samples analysed and the method of sampling does not provide adequate assurance for detection of non-compliances. Although there are regular risk based controls on the use of pesticides at growers, in the framework of the cross compliance controls, the system does not cover about 10-15% of professional users in the UK, including numerous large and medium size fruit and vegetable farms.

Different central competent authorities (CAs) are responsible for official controls in the different countries of the UK. The central competent authorities have no information about the controls carried out by the local authorities. Therefore the UK does not provide an annual report to the Commission on the scope and results of official controls on the marketing and use of pesticides, as required by EU legislation.

There are detailed procedures in place for enforcement in the case of non-compliances, including prosecution and the application of penalties. However, the CAs do not always take appropriate actions to ensure that the operator remedies the situation. Sanctions are not always effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

The report makes a number of recommendations to the CAs, aimed at rectifying the shortcomings identified and enhancing the implementation of control measures.

Allergens Labelling (FIC Regulation n. 1169/2011) on Foodservice Consultant

Food-allergens-cropped

As usual, I have to thank you Foodservice Consultant, and the editors Michael Jones and Ellie Clayton, for publishing again one of my articles on their magazine. This time we talk briefly about allergens labeling in  of the new EU FIC Regulation (n. 1169/2011).

We have a well established mutual cooperation, and my presence on their magazine/newsletter will be quarterly.

Foodservice Consultant is a quarterly publication for worldwide members of Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI), and is also distributed to an additional audience of 50,000 senior decision makers from the hospitality, leisure and construction sectors. Foodservice Consultant features interviews with leading FCSI consultants, hoteliers, chefs and architects and addresses topics ranging from sustainability, cuisine and nutrition to design, regulation and technology.

Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) is the premier association promoting professionalism in foodservice and hospitality consulting. With over 1,300 members in over 46 countries, FCSI members offer a wide range of consulting services including concept development, feasibility studies, food safety, design, marketing, operations and training.

It has been a real pleasure working again with them!

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