Created in 1979, RASFF enables information to be shared efficiently between its members (EU-28 national food safety authorities, Commission, EFSA, ESA, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland) and provides a round-the-clock service to ensure that urgent notifications are sent, received and responded to collectively and efficiently. Thanks to RASFF, many food safety risks had been averted before they could have been harmful to European consumers.
Vital information exchanged through RASFF can lead to products being recalled from the market. A robust system, which has matured over the years, RASFF continues to show its value to ensure food safety in the EU and beyond.
The RASFF portal features an interactive searchable online RASFF database. It gives public access to summary information about the most recently transmitted RASFF notifications as well as search for information on any notification issued in the past.
Europe is more than ever reliant on RASFF to ensure that our food meets some of the highest food safety standards in the world. To mark the 35th anniversary of RASFF, Commissioner for Health, Tonio Borg delivered a press statement on 13 June 2014 to explain the importance of its role in ensuring that food safety risk in Europe are averted or mitigated. Besides its main role of ensuring food safety, the 2013 RASFF annual report shows that it is a crucial tool to trace back and withdraw products where fraud was detected
Since June 2014, consumers can also use a new tool - the RASFF consumers' portal - which provides latest information on food recalls and public health warnings in all EU countries.
The European Commission has created the RASFF database to keep its information as transparent as possible to the consumers, business operators and authorities around the world. In doing so, however, it needs to strike a balance between openness and protection of information that could lead to disproportionate economic damage (learn more in the Disclaimer).