Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission

Keeping dangerous food off the shelves: Commission publishes annual report on EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed


An annual report published today on Europe’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) revealed that in 2012 almost 50% of notifications related to food and feed rejections at EU borders due to the risk they posed to food safety. Launched more than 30 years ago, RASFF is an IT tool that facilitates the cross-border flow of information between national food safety authorities and plays a key role in ensuring a high level of food safety for Europe's citizens. Tonio Borg, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, said: “RASFF is now an indispensable tool to respond to, and mitigate, food safety situations in the EU, since vital communication is swiftly exchanged to protect European consumers. Whilst the horsemeat scandal that has been making headline news does not fall within this reporting period, it is important to highlight that thanks to the existence of RASFF, food safety authorities throughout the EU were able to swiftly exchange information. As a result, the products were traced and withdrawn from the market.” To conclude: “the Commission envisages to extend the scope of RASFF to the fight against food fraud" (see IP/13/520 and MEMO/13/524 ).