Food recalls in EU – Week 29-30/2015

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:

– Allergens: undeclared mustard in cooked Lyoner sausage from Germany, following an official control on the market. Notified by Germany, distributed also to France, Ireland and Netherlands;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella spp. (presence/25g) in smoked ham from Germany, following company’s own check. Notified by France;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella typhimurium (presence/10g) in merguez – sausages from France, following company’s own check. Notified by France, distributed also to Austria and Germany;

– Pesticide residues: methomyl (0.32 mg/kg – ppm) in grapes from Egypt, via the Netherlands, following an official control on the market. notified by Denmark.

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

– Aflatoxins: ochratoxin A (28 µg/kg – ppb) in organic seedless raisins with oil from Australia, following company’s own check. Notified by Denmark;

– Non pathogenic micro-organisms: bacterial growth in dressing from Sweden, following a consumer complaint. Notified by Denmark, distributed also to Iceland;

– Non pathogenic micro-organisms: naan bread from the United Kingdom infested with mouldsfollowing company’s own check. Notified by Denmark, distributed also to Iceland;

– Non pathogenic micro-organisms: liver pate from Germany infested with moulds (Penicillium and Rhizopus), following an official control on the market. Notified by Slovakia;

– Residues of medicinal veterinary products: prohibited substance nitrofuran (metabolite) furazolidone (AOZ) (4.9 µg/kg – ppb) in frozen king prawns from Vietnam, following an official control on the market. Notified by Germany.

3. Alerts followed by a withdrawal from the market:

– Allergens: undeclared peanut in dried fruits with chocolate from the Netherlands, following a consumer complaint. Notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Belgium, France, Germany and Serbia;

– Allergens: undeclared gluten and fish in Worcester sauce from the United Kingdom, following a consumer complaint. Notified by Ireland;

– Allergens: undeclared sulphite in Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) from Croatia, following an official control on the market. Notified from Italy;

– Allergens: undeclared egg (>2.5 mg/kg – ppm) in fish cutlets from the Netherlands, following an official control on the market. Notified by Italy;

– Composition: too high content of vitamin B6 (1.82 g/100g) in food supplement from unknown origin, via the Netherlands, following an official control on the market. Notified by France;

– Composition: too high content of vitamin B6 in food supplement from Belgium, following an official control on the market. Notified by Sweden, distributed also to United Kingdom;

– Composition: high content of Senna alexandrina Mill. in herbal infusion from Thailand, via the Netherlands, following an official control on the market. Notified by Denmark, distributed also to Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Spain and Sweden;

– FCM (Food Contact Materials): migration of formaldehyde (346 mg/kg – ppm) from melamine bowls from China, via Spain, following an official control on the market. Notified by France;

Heavy metals: mercury (1.29; 1.8 mg/kg – ppm) in frozen blue shark (Prionace glauca) from Spain, following an official control on the market. Notified by Spain, distributed also to Portugal;

– Industrial contaminants: dioxins (3.44; 4.06; 3.88; 2.84; 3.39; pg WHO TEQ/g) in organic eggs from the Netherlands, following an official control on the market. Notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Belgium and France;

– Mycotoxins: ochratoxin A (11.83 µg/kg – ppb) in raisins from Chile, via Argentina and via the Czech Republic, following an official control on the market. Notified by Slovakia;

– Pesticide residues: ethylene oxide (2.5 mg/kg – ppm) in black pepper from Vietnam, following company’s own check. Notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Singapore, Switzerland, and United States.

4. Seizures:

In Italy we had a seizure for aflatoxins (B1 = 19 µg/kg – ppb) in pistachios from Iran, via Germany, following an official control on the market.

5. Border rejections:

  • aflatoxins (B1 = 7.8; Tot. = 8.5 µg/kg – ppb) in peanuts in shell, shelled peanuts (B1 = 9.5; Tot. = 11 µg/kg – ppb) and peanut powder (B1 = 9.9; Tot. = 24.9 / B1 = 13.1; Tot. = 28.8 µg/kg – ppb) from China
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 16.1; Tot. = 17.2 µg/kg – ppb) in whole stemless chilli from India
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 16.4; Tot. = 46.7 µg/kg – ppb) and ochratoxin A (92.5 µg/kg – ppb) in spiced red pepper powder from Ethiopia
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 22.03; Tot. = 44.45 µg/kg – ppb) in roasted red inside pistachio nuts from Turkey
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 6.9; Tot. = 7.3 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnuts in shell from Egypt
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 8.1; Tot. = 8.6 µg/kg – ppb) in shelled peanuts from the United States
  • absence of health certificate(s) for curry leaves from India and for watermelon seeds from Nigeria
  • attempt to illegally import fresh mint from Vietnam
  • biphenyl (0.12 mg/kg – ppm) in fermented tea from China
  • cadmium (2.99 mg/kg – ppm) in frozen squid (loligo spp) from Yemen
  • chlorpyrifos (0.03 mg/kg – ppm), cypermethrin (0.86 mg/kg – ppm) and dimethoate (0.038 mg/kg – ppm) and unauthorised substances dichlorvos (6.3 mg/kg – ppm) and trichlorfon (8.4 mg/kg – ppm) in brown beans from Nigeria
  • chlorpyrifos (0.52 mg/kg – ppm) and unauthorised substance chlorfenapyr (0.04 mg/kg – ppm) in chinese brocoli from China
  • dodine (0.18 mg/kg – ppm) in red cherry peppers in brine and hot peppers in brine (0.13 mg/kg – ppm) from Egypt
  • dodine (0.30 mg/kg – ppm) and unauthorised substance carbendazim (0.38 mg/kg – ppm) in red cherry pepper in brine (Capsicum annuum) from Egypt
  • difenoconazole (0.22 mg/kg – ppm) in fresh mangoes from Brazil
  • FCM: migration of chromium (1 mg/l) and too high level of overall migration (29 mg/dm²) from stainless steel knives from China
  • FCM: migration of chromium (3.5 mg/l) and too high level of overall migration (14 mg/dm²) from stainless knives from China
  • FCM: migration of chromium (0.8 mg) from steel fish tong from China
  • formetanate (0.180 mg/kg – ppm) in sweet peppers and fresh peppers (0.03 mg/kg – ppm) from Turkey
  • fraudulent health certificate(s) for groundnuts and shelled groundnuts from China
  • Listeria monocytogenes (presence /25g) in frozen surimi (Nemipterus spp) from Thailand
  • mercury (2.889; 2.659; 2.734; 2.751; 1.270; 1.374; 1.277; 1.267 mg/kg – ppm) in chilled swordfish (Xiphias gladius) from Ecuador
  • methamidophos (0.244 mg/kg – ppm) in fresh peppers from Turkey and in green beans with pods (0.067 mg/kg – ppm) from Kenya
  • mercury (0.90 mg/kg – ppm) in red porgy (Pagrus pagrus) from Morocco
  • poor temperature control ( >-5 °C) of frozen cod portions and fillets (Gadus macrocephalus) from China, of of frozen red salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) (-3.4, -4.6, -3.2, -3.6 °C) from the United States and of frozen squisds (Illex spp) (-2.1 °C) from Argentina
  • Salmonella (present /25g) in frozen poultry meat preparation from Thailand
  • Salmonella spp. (presence /25g) in paan leaves and betel leaves from India
  • Salmonella spp. (presence /25g) in frozen salted skinless boneless chicken breasts and frozen salted chicken (presence/25g) from Thailand
  • too high content of sulphite (2685 mg/kg – ppm) in dried apricots from Turkey
  • unauthorised colour Sudan 4 (1.0 mg/kg – ppm) in palm oil from Nigeria
  • unauthorised substance carbofuran (0.16 mg/kg – ppm) in yardlong bean from the Dominican Republic
  • unauthorised substance carbendazim (1.4 mg/kg – ppm) in dragon fruit from Thailand
  • unauthorised substance permethrin (0.23 mg/kg – ppm) in dragon fruit from Vietnam
  • unauthorised placing on the market (Anacylus pyrethrum, contains L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine as BCAAs) of, unauthorised novel food ingredient Dendrobium nobile, novel food ingredient Eurycoma longifolia and novel food ingredient Mucuna pruriens and unauthorised substances vanadium and arginine alphaketoglutarate in food supplements from the United States
  • undeclared peanut in sesame paste from China

FVO report – India – Contaminants and residues

This report describes the outcome of a Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audit in India, carried out from 3 to 14 March 2014, as part of the published programme of FVO audits.

The objective of the audit was to evaluate the performance of competent authorities and other officially authorised entities in their implementation of official controls concerning residues and contaminants in live animals and animal products, in order to assess whether these controls offer adequate assurance that the products and animals concerned, eligible for export to the European Union (EU) do not contain residues of veterinary medicinal products, pesticides and contaminants at concentrations in excess of EU maximum limits. Since the authorisation, distribution and use of veterinary medicinal products and feed additives have an impact on the monitoring of residues, the national rules governing the control systems in these areas were also part of the audit. In addition, attention was paid to examining the implementation of corrective actions promised in response to recommendations made in the report of the previous FVO residues audit in India (DG(SANCO)/2011/8861 MR-Final) in May 2011.

Overall, it is concluded that guarantees provided by the residue control system for aquaculture products in India are, with some exceptions, broadly equivalent to those foreseen by EU legislation. The residue monitoring plan is implemented in accordance with planned arrangements and in line with EU rules and meets minimum requirements laid down in EU legislation (for testing of aquaculture shrimp but not finfish). However a relatively narrow range of substances is tested for and no account is taken of the range of substances actually used in fish and shrimp production in the country. As such, guarantees on the residues status of aquaculture products rely to a large extent on the additional pre-harvest and pre-export testing programmes in place and these mitigate to a certain extent the long-standing deficiencies in official controls on farms, and in particular, an almost total absence of official controls on the use of veterinary medicinal products. Nevertheless, the relatively narrow range of substances tested for in those additional programmes also weakens the reliability of those guarantees. With regard to the follow-up of non-compliant results, some improvements have been noted relative to 2011 (for example progress made on the registration of farms), nevertheless, it remains the case that follow-up at primary producer level to identify the root cause of the non compliance is ‘delegated’ almost fully to export establishments which is not in line with EU requirements.

Concerning laboratories, improvements in performance have been noted relative to 2011, though certain deficiencies in quality control and ensuring the analytical integrity of samples have the potential to undermine the effectiveness of the residue monitoring plan.

With regard to veterinary medicinal products, the system for authorisation of, and controls on veterinary medicinal products is deficient in many respects compared to the EU system. Improvements have been made relative to 2011 (introduction of labelling legislation) however, the many non-compliances identified by the audit team in this respect and overall poor awareness and enforcement of the legislation collectively weaken the effectiveness of the residue control system.