Food recalls in EU – Week 18/2015

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:

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (positive) in camembert cheese from France, following an official control on the market. Notified by Germany;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria monocytogenes (6700 CFU/g) in raw sheep’s milk cheese from France, following company’s own check. Notified by France, distributed also to Belgium and United Kingdom;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella Rissen (presence/25g) in organic chlorella powder from China, via the United Kingdom, following an official control on the market. Notified by Ireland, distributed also to Slovenia.

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

– Residues of veterinary medicinal products: residue level above MRL for dexamethasone (>3 µg/kg – ppb) in slaughter calves from Spain, following an official control on the market. Notified by Italy.

3. Alerts followed by a withdrawal from the market:

– Biotoxins: Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins (7166 µg/kg – ppb) in cockles, following an official control on the market. Notified by United Kingdom;

FCM – Composition: migration of aluminium (2.1 mg/l) from green ceramic bowls from China, via Belgium, following an official control on the market. Notified by France;

Food poisoning suspected to be caused by mussels from Spain. Notified by France;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: too high count of Escherichia coli (1300 MPN/100g) in rope mussels (Mytilus Edulis) from Ireland, following company’s own check. Notified by France;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria monocytogenes (50 CFU/g) in raw milk cheese from France, following company’s own check. Notified by France, distributed also to Belgium, Germany, Italy and Netherlands.

4. Seizures:

None

5. Border rejections:

  • aflatoxins (B1 = 21.8; Tot. = 26.1 µg/kg – ppb) in pistachio from Iran
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 23.1; Tot. = 24.3 µg/kg – ppb) in chilly powder and in red pepper ground (Capsicum spp) (B1 = 6.181 µg/kg – ppb) from India
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 3.1; Tot. = 4 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnut kernels from China
  • arsenic (11.7 mg/kg – ppm) and lead (8.3 mg/kg – ppm) in, attempt to illegally import calabash chalk from Ghana
  • attempt to illegally import live oysters and mussels from Senegal
  • chlorpyrifos (0.71 mg/kg – ppm) and buprofezin (0.19 mg/kg – ppm) in Sichuan green tea from China
  • formetanate (0.274 mg/kg – ppm) in sweet peppers from Turkey
  • improper import declaration (product not heat-treated) for frozen cooked clams from Vietnam
  • FCM: migration of formaldehyde (19.7 mg/kg – ppm) from melamine kitchen and melamine plates (46.9 mg/kg – ppm) from China
  • FCM: migration of primary aromatic amines (2.02 mg/kg – ppm) from polyamide kitchenware from China
  • poor temperature control of mackerel and other fish products from India
  • prohibited substance chloramphenicol (210 µg/kg – ppb) in enzyme powder from India
  • Salmonella Kentucky (in 1 out of 5 samples /25g) in hulled sesame seeds from India
  • Salmonella spp. (presence), Salmonella Mbandaka (presence /25g) and Salmonella Orion (presence /25g) in sesame seeds from India
  • Salmonella spp. (presence /25g) in frozen meat preparations and in frozen turkey meat preparations from Brazil
  • Salmonella spp. in frozen salted chicken breast meat from Thailand
  • thiophanate-methyl (0.53 mg/kg – ppm) and unauthorised substance carbendazim (0.15 mg/kg – ppm) in fresh chilli peppers (Capsicum) from the Dominican Republic
  • unauthorised irradiation of red yeast rice extract from China
  • unauthorised substance dichlorvos (10.8 mg/kg – ppm) in dried beans from Nigeria
  • unauthorised substance tolfenpyrad (0.079 mg/kg – ppm) in green tea from China
  • unauthorised use of colour E 110 – Sunset Yellow FCF (98 mg/l) in mirinda soft drink

Claims – Art. 14 EC Reg. 1924/2006 approved – Artichoke leaf dry extract (blood LDL-cholesterol reduction)

Following an application from Laboratoire Lescuyer, submitted pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of France, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to the combination of artichoke leaf dry extract standardised in caffeoylquinic acids, monacolin K in red yeast rice, sugar-cane derived policosanols, OPC from French maritime pine bark, garlic dry extract standardised in allicin, d-α-tocopheryl hydrogen succinate, riboflavin and inositol hexanicotinate in Limicol® and reduction of blood LDL-cholesterol concentrations. The Panel considers that the food which is the subject of the claim is sufficiently characterised.

The Panel considers that reduction of blood LDL-cholesterol concentrations is a beneficial physiological effect. High LDL-cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease. In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that, although no evidence was provided for an LDLcholesterol lowering effect of any of the single food constituents in Limicol® at the proposed conditions of use or as to how the ingredients individually or in any combination could contribute to the claimed effect and despite the lack of a dose-response relationship observed in one human intervention study, three human intervention studies conducted by two independent research groups showed an effect of the combination of food ingredients in Limicol® on blood LDL-cholesterol concentrations. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of the combination of artichoke leaf dry extract standardised in caffeoylquinic acids, monacolin K in red yeast rice, sugar-cane derived policosanols, OPC from French maritime pine bark, garlic dry extract standardised in allicin, d-α-tocopheryl hydrogen succinate, riboflavin and inositol hexanicotinate in Limicol® and a reduction in blood LDL-cholesterol concentrations.

The proposed wording reflects the scientific evidence:

“A combination of artichoke leaf dry extract standardised in caffeoylquinic acids, monacolin K in red yeast rice, sugarcane derived policosanols, OPC from French maritime pine bark, garlic dry extract standardised in allicin, d-α-tocopheryl hydrogen succinate, riboflavin and inositol hexanicotinate reduces blood LDLcholesterol concentrations. High LDL-cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease.“

In order to bear the claim a product should provide 600 mg artichoke leaf dry extract with 30-36 mg caffeoylquinic acids, 500 mg red yeast rice with 2 mg monacolin K, 10 mg sugarcane derived policosanols, 20 mg French maritime pine bark extract with 18 mg OPC, 30 mg garlic dry extract with 0.25 mg allicin, 30 mg α-tocopherol equivalents, 5 mg riboflavin and 9 mg inositol hexanicotinate in three daily doses to be consumed with the major meals. The target population is adults in the general population wishing to reduce their blood cholesterol
concentrations.

(fount EFSA scientific opinion)

Surely that product will help the blood LDL-cholesterol reduction, but the claim and the proposed wording seem to be really too technical for the average consumer understanding.

What do you think about the increasing complexity in this area? Which impact could have a similar claim to the consumers?

I’m eager to hear your opinions!