The most significant issues highlighted in the 2013 RASFF report include: food-borne outbreaks due to the presence of hepatitis A virus found in berry mixes and strawberries, adverse reactions caused by food supplements with potentially dangerous ingredients, shigatoxin-producing E.coli in meat and pesticides residues on plant products. The UK authorities made some 34 notifications concerning salmonella spp found in fruits and vegetables.
The report also underlines what a crucial tool the system proved to be during the horsemeat fraud scandal in helping member states to trace back and withdraw adulterated products from the marketplace.
EU action against food fraud
Evidence indicates there is a growing need to exchange information on cross-border cases of food fraud which are becoming increasingly sophisticated.
Inspired by RASFF, the Commission is now developing a food fraud IT system which will be linked to RASFF to ensure the swift exchange of information on fraudulent activities in the food sector
The system will be up and running in 2015 and will help to underpin the work of the Food Fraud Network which is tasked with EU cross-border cooperation. The network has already handled more than 40 cases of food fraud since it became operational in July 2013.