Article 50 of Regulation (EC) N° 178/2002 established the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) as a network involving EEA Member States, the Commission and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
The RASFF is primarily an information exchange tool for cases where health risks have been identified and measures taken, such as withholding, recalling, seizure or rejection of products. It allows network members to immediately identify whether a specific problem affects them and to take measures to ensure consumer safety.
A relevant number of RASFF notifications concern imports from third countries. Training for third countries in the functioning of the RASFF aims to help them to improve controls throughout the food production chain.
The programme also aims to discuss the possibility of setting up similar rapid alert exchange systems in other parts of the world. This would enhance controls on products destined for the domestic market, correct problems with exports and facilitate information exchange within and between countries.
How many workshops are taking place?
Three three-day workshops are to be organised during 2007.
Who is the training aimed at?
The training is aimed at staff of the national competent authorities in China, south-east Asia and South America responsible for ensuring food and feed safety. Each workshop caters for around 80 participants.
What activities are planned?
For the workshop:
- The first day is dedicated to a presentation of the EU RASFF;
- On the second day trains participants are trained in the establishment of a national rapid alert system, using relevant documents and case studies;
- On the third day participants perform technical exercises related to the operation of a rapid alert system.
What topics are covered?
The training covers recent developments in EU food law and food hygiene and control rules, as well as requirements for setting up rapid alert systems such as:
- Food and feed control standards;
- Organisational structures of competent authorities;
- Communication needs;
- Scope for information exchange;
- Required legal basis;
- Transparency and confidentiality requirements;
- Follow-up of notifications.
When and where are the events taking place?
- 12-14 June, Bangkok, Thailand;
- 26-28 September, Argentina;
- 6-8 November, China.
How do I participate?
Anyone interested in taking part in training should contact their relevant national competent authority. The national competent authority proposes participants to the Better Training for Safer Food National Contact Point, who sends the list of participants to the contractor. The contractor submits the list to the Commission for approval.
The list of Better Training for Safer Food National Contact Points can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/food/training/ms_contact_points.pdf
Who has been awarded the contract for arranging the workshops?
European Application of Technology and Services (AETS) in consortium with the Spanish Association for Standardisation and Certification (AENOR) and Ainia.
Further information on training can be found at: http://training.rasff.com/ (AETS, Ainia and AENOR)