Food recalls in EU – Week 2/2015

This week on the EU RASFF (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we can find the following notifications:

1. Alerts followed by a recall from consumers:

– Industrial contaminants: benzo(a)pyrene (12.7 µg/kg – ppb) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (57.42 µg/kg – ppb) in sprats pate from Latvia, following an official control on the market. Notified by Greece.

2. Information for attention/for follow up followed by a recall from consumers:

Heavy metals: migration of cadmium (0.376 mg/kg – ppm) from canned pear halves in light syrup from China, following an official control on the market. Notified by Poland.

3. Alerts followed by a withdrawal from the market:

– Composition: unauthorised substances methyl-synephrine, phenethylamine and phenethylamine derivative (beta-methylphenethylamine) in food supplement from the United States, via the United Kingdom, following an official control on the market. Notified by Poland;

– Food additives and flavourings: too high content of thujone (48 mg/l) in absinthe 55 essence from Sweden, following an official control on the market. Notified by United Kingdom, distributed also in Luxembourg;

– Food additives and flavourings: undeclared sulphite (54 mg/kg – ppm) in shelled walnuts from Germany, following an official control on the market. Notified by Italy;

– Food additives and flavourings: undeclared sulphite (95 mg/kg – ppm) in white corn in salt brine from Spain, following an official control on the market. Notified by Denmark, distributed also to Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom;

– Mycotoxins: aflatoxins (B1 = 6.7; Tot. = 27.5 µg/kg – ppb) in dried figs from Spain, following an official control on the market. Notified by Portugal.

4. Seizures:

None

5. Border rejections:

  • aflatoxins (B1 = 10.3; Tot. = 26 µg/kg – ppb) in roasted pistachios from Turkey;
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 20; Tot. = 25.1 µg/kg – ppb) in pistachios from Iran and from Turkey (B1 = 545; Tot. = 559 / B1 = 251; Tot. = 308 µg/kg – ppb);
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 28.1; Tot. = 31.6 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnuts blanched from China;
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 4.3; Tot. = 5.28 µg/kg – ppb) in peanuts from China;
  • carbendazim (0.87 mg/kg – ppm), metalaxyl (0.12 mg/kg – ppm) and azoxystrobin (0.59 mg/kg – ppm) in various exotic fruits from Vietnam;
  • chlorpyrifos (0.44 mg/kg – ppm), cypermethrin (1.68 mg/kg – ppm), acetamiprid (0.25; 1.05 mg/kg – ppm), imidacloprid (0.38 mg/kg – ppm) and cyhalothrin (0.09 mg/kg – ppm) and unauthorised substance dinotefuran (0.32 mg/kg – ppm) in jasmine, oolong and high mountain green tea from Taiwan;
  • FCM: corrosion of cake pan from China;
  • cyhalothrin (0.06 mg/kg – ppm) and unauthorised substance dichlorvos (0.07 mg/kg – ppm) in dried beans from Nigeria;
  • cypermethrin (3.6 mg/kg – ppm) in fresh mint from Morocco;
  • formetanate (1.311 mg/kg – ppm) in sweet peppers from Turkey;
  • FCM: migration of formaldehyde (20.7; 24.1 mg/kg – ppm) from melamine tableware from China;
  • FCM: migration of nickel (0.43 mg/kg – ppm) from steel grating from Turkey;
  • profenofos (0.02 mg/kg – ppm) and dimethoate (0.049 mg/kg – ppm) in mangetout peas from Kenya;
  • pyridaben (0.14 mg/kg – ppm) and unauthorised substance chlorfenapyr (0.16 mg/kg – ppm) in chinese broccoli (Brassica oleracea) from China, via Hong Kong;
  • Salmonella anatum (presence /25g) in hulled sesame seeds from India;
  • Salmonella spp. (presence /25g) in hulled sesame seeds and sesame seeds from India;
  • Salmonella spp. in frozen chicken breast fillets and frozen skinless spiced turkey from Brazil;
  • triazophos (0.99 mg/kg – ppm) and unauthorised substance profenofos (7.5 mg/kg – ppm) in curry leaves from India;
  • unauthorised substance dichlorvos (0.03 mg/kg – ppm) in dried beans from Nigeria;
  • unauthorised substance monocrotophos (0.06 mg/kg – ppm) and permethrin (0.2 mg/kg – ppm) in okra from India;
  • unsuitable organoleptic characteristics (black colour and bad smell) of tuna chunks in brine from the Seychelles with defective packaging and infested with insects.

EU updates list of imports of plant origin subject to reinforced border checks

Controls performed at European Union borders on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 continue to deliver results and, as a consequence, the EU is removing some products from the list of feed and food of non-animal origin that are subject to an increased level of official controls by national competent authorities at the border. As a result of the satisfactory results reported by Member States, curry from India will be de-listed from the Regulation’s Annex I. This commodity will therefore no longer be subject to the reinforced scheme (the checks performed by competent authorities will again be ‘routine’ ones).

Concerning new listings, the following commodities will be added to the list of feed and food which are subject to reinforced border checks: table grapes (food) from Peru at a control frequency of physical and identity checks of 10% for the possible occurrence of pesticide residues and dried apricots (food) from Turkey at a control frequency of 10% for the possible presence of high levels of sulphites or of undeclared sulphites. Moreover, the control frequency for Brassica oleracea originating from China (‘Chinese broccoli’) will be increased from 20% to 50% in light of the high degree of non-compliance with the relevant Union legislation detected in the course of the controls carried out by the Member States on this commodity.

The Regulation will be amended by extending the transitional period referred to in its Article 19 for an additional term of five years, so as to allow the smooth entry into force of any new requirement that might result from the ongoing review of the provisions applicable to designated points of entry and to border controls in general.

At the meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health on 6 June 2014, Member States endorsed the Commission’s proposal to amend the Annex to the Regulation by reflecting the abovementioned changes.

The amendments are expected to enter into force as of 1 July 2014.

(Source: DG Sanco)