“The AME Food Testing Show” by Andy Moreno – Food Recalls in EU with Cesare Varallo

On 19th July I have been guest of Andy Moreno on his Blog Talk Radio program “The AME Food Testing Show”, for a brief interview regarding food recalls in EU and the functioning of the RASSF (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed).

The main difference by the US system, is that in Europe  we don’t publish the name of the companies and of the products, like FDA do. On the other hand, the EU alert system seems to be more capillary and efficient, and the number of notifications is quite more high than in US.

Two different ways to pursue the objectives of the food safety and each one could learn a lot by the other.

Andy is a great professional in the food safety arena. His original and multidisciplinary approach is quite unique and I am honored to have been his guest. It was a great and funny experience, due to Andy kindness and open-minded vision of our work.

Here you can find the direct link to the interview:


The agenda was the following:

1. Introduction.
2. What are the food safety laws in the European Union?
3. What is the normal recall of a food borne outbreak in the EU?
4. Which are the typical reasons for a food product recall?
5. Where on the internet are the EU recalls found?
6. What lessons can food producers learn worldwide from these recalls?
7. Which type or notifications are put in the RASFF (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed)?
a. There are food alerts (recalls from consumers/withdrawal from the market), but also information for attention and for follow up, nonetheless also the border rejections.
b. They could interest food, feed or food contact materials.
c. Between the actions taken you can see also seizures, product destruction, etc…
8. Why there are not products and companies names on RASFF?
a. This is a very hot topic in EU! FDA publishes all the products/companies names interested by a recall. In EU it’s not the same.
b. There are a lot of discussions on this point and there were also some pronounces by the European Court of Justice.
9. His food law practice and specialty in Italy.
10. Conclusion

Good listening!

Food recalls in EU – Week 21

Durum Wheat crop
Durum Wheat crop (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we can found three recalls from consumers in EU:

Allergens: undeclared egg in durum wheat pasta, following company’s own check. Origin Italy, distributed also to Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella in dry pork sausage following company’s own check. Origin France, distributed also to Denmark, Belgium and Germany.

Industrial contaminants: heavy polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in dried fish (60 mg/kg – ppb), following an official control on the market in Ireland. Origin Thailand, distributed in Ireland via United Kingdom.

Regarding border rejections we have some significant notifications related to aflatoxins in nuts and nuts products from China and Turkey, salmonella SPP in fish meal from Mauritania and unauthorised plant parts (Aconitum spp) in women food supplement from Taiwan, via the United States.