Bulgaria – Organic control system flawed

This report describes the outcome of a DG Health and Food Safety audit in Bulgaria, carried out between 16 November 2015 and 27 November 2015, under the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official food and feed controls.

The objective of the audit was to evaluate the controls on organic production and labelling of organic products.

The report concludes that the control system in place in Bulgaria cannot provide assurance as regards compliance of the operators with the organic production rules. The supervision carried out by the Competent Authority failed to identify the systematic shortcomings in the performance of the Control Bodies.

The preparation and the timing of the inspection visits are often inadequate and the number of inspections assigned to inspectors is very high. As a result, controls are often superficial and inspectors do not identify gross non-compliances. Even if major irregularities are found, they are not notified either to the Competent Authority or to other Control Bodies and the enforcement measures applied are neither dissuasive nor proportionate.

Some subcontracted activities are not always subject to the same level of controls as activities carried out by certified operators. The number of additional inspections, unannounced inspections and samples taken is insufficient and the selection of the operators for these controls is not always risk-based.

(Source: DG Sante website)

Food recalls in EU is back – Week 7/2016

Dear readers, the weekly articles about EU food recalls is back with a slightly modified format, to be even more immediate. January was an hectic period and I had big changes in my firm: that will lead to better organisation and an enhanced capacity to answer regulatory services requests, but it took me energy and time.

Soon you will have more information via the blog.

This week on EU RASFF (Rapid Alert System for food and feed) we can find the following relevant notifications:

1. Alerts followed by a recall from consumers:

  • Migration of melamine (3.1 mg/l) from melamine bowl from China, via Spain and via Italy, following an official control on the market. Notified by France, distributed also to Belgium, Luxembourg, Serbia and Slovenia.

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


3. Alerts followed by a withdrawal from the market:

  • Listeria monocytogenes (210 CFU/g) in frozen olive focaccia brie oregano from Portugal, following company’s own check. Notified by France, distributed also to United Kingdom;
  • Metal particles (< 1 cm) in canned tortellini from Austria, following a consumer complaint. Notified by Austria, distributed also to Germany.

4. Seizures:


5. Border rejections:

Country of notification Countries Concerned Subject Action taken
Denmark Denmark, Turkey (O) aflatoxins (B1 = 100; Tot. = 160 µg/kg – ppb) in hazelnuts from Turkey placed under customs seals
Germany Germany, Turkey (O) aflatoxins (B1 = 13.49 µg/kg – ppb) in roasted hazelnuts from Turkey re-dispatch
United Kingdom Brazil (O), United Kingdom aflatoxins (B1 = 13.9; Tot. = 15.7 µg/kg – ppb) in shelled groundnuts from Brazil use for other purpose than food/feed
Italy Italy, Turkey (O) aflatoxins (B1 = 15.3; Tot. = 16 µg/kg – ppb) in sweet apricot kernels from Turkey informing recipients
Slovenia Commission Services, Hungary, India (O), Slovenia, United States aflatoxins (B1 = 29.5; Tot. = 32.5 µg/kg – ppb) in nutmeg in shell from India, via the United States
Bulgaria Bulgaria, United States (O) aflatoxins (B1 = 3.3 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnuts from the United States placed under customs seals
France France, Turkey (O) aflatoxins (B1 = 3.3; Tot. = 24.1 µg/kg – ppb) in whole organic hazelnut kernels from Turkey return to consignor
Italy Egypt (O), Italy, San Marino (D) aflatoxins (B1 = 38.1; Tot. = 41.3 µg/kg – ppb) in peanuts in shell from Egypt placed under customs seals
Italy Egypt (O), Italy aflatoxins (B1 = 75.9; Tot. = 116.1 µg/kg – ppb) in peanuts in shell from Egypt placed under customs seals
Italy Azerbaijan (O), Italy aflatoxins (B1 = 9.5; Tot. = 10.2 µg/kg – ppb) in hazelnut kernels from Azerbaijan re-dispatch
Malta China (O), Malta aflatoxins (B1 = 9.8; Tot. = 12.0 / B1 = 4.5; Tot. = 5.6 µg/kg – ppb) in blanched peanuts from China placed under customs seals
Italy Italy, Turkey (O) aflatoxins (Tot. = 32.5 µg/kg – ppb) in shelled hazelnuts from Turkey official detention
Portugal Iran (O), Portugal, Turkey fenpropathrin (0.14 mg/kg – ppm) and ethion (0.024 mg/kg – ppm) and unauthorised substance propargite (0.030 mg/kg – ppm) in raisins from Iran, via Turkey re-dispatch
Italy Italy, Tunisia (O) hepatitis A virus (presence) in chilled clams (Ruditapes decussatus) from Tunisia destruction
Italy Italy, Tunisia (O) hepatitis A virus (presence) in chilled clams (Ruditapes decussatus) from Tunisia destruction
Italy Italy, Tunisia (O) hepatitis A virus in grooved carpet shells (Ruditapes decussatus) from Tunisia destruction
Italy Commission Services, Italy, Thailand (O) mercury (0.12 mg/kg – ppm) in canned cat food from Thailand import not authorised
Netherlands Brazil (O), Netherlands poor temperature control (-14 <–>-6 °C) of frozen salted skinless half chicken breasts from Brazil import not authorised
Italy Italy, Turkey (O) prochloraz (1.5 mg/kg – ppm) in pomegranates from Turkey
United Kingdom India (O), United Kingdom Salmonella (in 1 out of 5 samples /25g) in betel leaves from India import not authorised
Cyprus Cyprus, Ukraine (O) Salmonella (presence /25g) and Salmonella Senftenberg (presence /25g) in rapeseed meal from Ukraine official detention
United Kingdom India (O), United Kingdom Salmonella (presence /25g) in betel leaves from India import not authorised
Germany Germany, Thailand (O) Salmonella (present /25g) in frozen salted chicken breasts from Thailand re-dispatch
Slovenia India (O), Slovenia Salmonella Isangi (in 2 out of 5 samples /25g) in hulled sesame seeds from India placed under customs seals
France Brazil (O), France, Netherlands shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (stx1+, stx2- /25g) in chilled boneless beef meat (Bos taurus) from Brazil destruction
Bulgaria Bulgaria, China (O) spoilage of peanuts in shell from China infested with moulds re-dispatch
Spain Spain, Turkey (O) too high content of sulphite (2314-3399 mg/kg – ppm) in dried apricots from Turkey re-dispatch
Czech Republic Czech Republic, Vietnam (O) unauthorised substances carbendazim (0.25 mg/kg – ppm), hexaconazole (0.058 mg/kg – ppm), diafenthiuron (0.18 mg/kg – ppm) and chlorfenapyr (0.079 mg/kg – ppm) in fresh chilli peppers from Vietnam official detention

(Source: RASFF Portal)