The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed is 30 years old


<p>The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) is turning 30 this year. Using this system, the EU Member States can be rapidly informed of food or feed that may be a health hazard to humans or animals. According to the system’s 2008 report, the total number of notifications was 7 000. Of these, 528 cases led to immediate action.</p>

Finland made 93 notifications in 2008, and 82 of these concerned food and 11 feed. The most common reasons for the food notifications in 2008 were food additives, mycotoxins, microbiological quality and foreign material.

The RASFF system is also used for exchanging information with the World Health Organisation's alert system INFOSAN.

Evira is Finland’s contact point

Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira is the official national point of contact with the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed. The Member States of the European Union, the Commission and the European Food Safety Authority EFSA are taking part in the system.

It is Evira’s task to inform of alert notifications regarding food and feed to other authorities and when necessary to different correspondents and to clarify if the food or feed in question has been imported to Finland. In addition Evira will pass on the Finnish notifications to the Commission, which will transmit them to the Member States of the European Union, the EFTA countries and to those countries outside the EU where the products originate or where these products were delivered to. The system is also used for transmitting other information between the Commission, EFSA and the Member States.

A central principle of the EU is to maintain openness with regards to the controls, in order to retain the consumers’ trust in food safety.

For more information: Senior Officer Liisa Niemi, Evira, puh. 020 77 24316, 040 489 3367  


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