Each label that you encounter in a grocery store can give you some insight into how the product is manufactured. It can also help you avoid products that are misleading in their claims.
Cage free is one label that’s often found on eggs. Although it indicates that chickens were not raised in cages, it does not guarantee that the animals have access to the outdoors and it is not a regulated label by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Fair trade certified is another label that people often use to buy a product in order to feel good about their purchase. Unlike cage free, which helps understand how an animal was raised, fair trade certified gives you insight about the people that produced the packaged food or produce, indicating that farmers receive a fair price and workers receive fair wages.
Certain products, such as fish, have a variety of unique labels. Wild-caught or wild fish indicates that the fish were caught in the wild. But it does not guarantee they lived their lives solely outside of a fish farm, and a wild-caught label is not necessarily something to depend on.
Here below a useful infographic on the topic, originally published on http://www.clubwoodside.com/decipher-confusing-misleading-grocery-labels/:
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:
- Allergens: undeclared almond in smoked organic tofu from Austria, following company’s own check. Notified by Germany;
- Heavy metals: mercury (1.99 mg/kg – ppm) in frozen tuna (Thunnus obesus) from Italy, following an official control on the market. Notified by Malta;
- Industrial contaminants: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (3.0; sum: 17.0 µg/kg – ppb) in organic cold pressed hemp seed oil from the United Kingdom, produced in Serbia, following an official control on the market. Notified by Slovenia, distributed also to Croatia;
- Mycotoxins: aflatoxins (B1 = 76 µg/kg – ppb) in roasted salted pistachios from Iran, packaged in Italy, following an official control on the market. Notified by Slovenia;
- Mycotoxins: deoxynivalenol (DON) (2.55 mg/kg – ppm) in white corn meal from Portugal, following a border control. Notified by Switzerland, distributed also to France, Germany and United Kingdom;
- Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria monocytogenes (9000 CFU/g) in raw milk cheese from France, following company’s own check. Notified by France, distributed also to Spain.
2. Information for attention/for follow up followed by a recall from consumers:
3. Alerts followed by a withdrawal from the market:
5. Border rejections:
- absence of health mark on frozen Alaska pollack (Theragra chalcogramma) from China
- acetamiprid (0.768 meq/kg) in fresh sweet peppers from Turkey
- aflatoxins (B1 = 13.1; Tot. = 14.1 µg/kg – ppb) in in-shell pistachios from Iran
- aflatoxins (B1 = 19.5; Tot. = 31.7 µg/kg – ppb) in dried figs, organic dried figs (B1 = 9.8; Tot. = 42.5 µg/kg – ppb) and hazelnut kernels (B1 = 5.45; Tot. = 25.72 µg/kg – ppb) from Turkey
- aflatoxins (B1 = 30.7; Tot. = 34.1 µg/kg – ppb) in pistachios in shell and pistachio nuts (B1 = 44.9; Tot. = 50 µg/kg – ppb) from the United States
- aflatoxins (B1 = 4.3 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnuts in shell and groundnut kernels (B1 = 88; Tot. = 105 µg/kg – ppb) from China
- aflatoxins (B1 = 5; Tot. = 20.2 / B1 = 14.1; Tot. = 43.1 µg/kg – ppb) in hazelnut kernels from Georgia
- FCM (Food Contact Materials): migration of chromium (0.19 mg/kg – ppm) and of nickel (0.2 mg/kg – ppm) from steel kitchen items, of formaldehyde (307.2; 387.6; mg/kg – ppm) from melamine cutting board and of manganese (1.0 mg/kg – ppm) from hand blender from China
- FEED: Salmonella Agona (presence), Salmonella Rissen (presence) and Salmonella Tennessee (presence) in processed animal protein from Mexico
- FEED: Salmonella group C (presence /25g) in steamdried fishmeal (Engraulis encrasicolus) from South Africa
- fraudulent Common Entry Document (CED) for roasted diced hazelnut kernels from Turkey
- fraudulent health certificate(s) for cooked salted duck eggs, marinated eggs and preserved duck eggs from China
- insufficient labelling (country of origin is missing) of frozen Alaska pollack (Theragra chalcogramma) from China
- ochratoxin A (32,55 +/- 9,44 µg/kg – ppb) in chili powder from India
- robusta coffe from Cameroon infested with moulds (21,7 %)
- spoilage (bad smell) and poor hygienic state of frozen octopus (Octopus vulgaris) from Mauritania
- too high content of sulphite (2192 mg/kg – ppm) in dried apricots from Turkey and (3008 mg/kg – ppm) in raisins from Chile
- unauthorised genetically modified (CRYI) rice stick from China
- unauthorised novel food ingredient Hovenia dulcis in mixed fruits drink from South Korea
- unauthorised substance trichlorfon (3.9 mg/kg – ppm) in white beans from Nigeria.