Joint Research Centre - European Commission

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

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed more efficient than ever on its 30th birthday


The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) –an important tool in the EU efforts to ensure food safety– turns 30 this year. Figures indicate that now it is more efficient than it has ever been. The system's annual report for 2008, which is being released today, notes that the number of alert notifications in 2008 was reduced by almost half compared to 2007. The total number of notifications remained stable at around 7,000. This does not mean that there were fewer problems to report in 2008. It rather indicates that the system's contributors now focus better on the risks and only classify them under "alert notifications" if they are considered "serious" and the product is circulating on the market. That is also when rapid action is required from Member States to mitigate the risk. In 2008, there were 528 alerts out of a total of about 3,000 notifications. The Commission also received about 4,000 follow-up notifications which it transmitted to all Member States.