Withdrawals/recalls of foodstuffs and food contact materials in 2007

2.4.2008

<div>A total of 44 withdrawals/recalls were recorded by Evira in 2007. The number of withdrawals has remained more or less constant in the recent years. Fewer withdrawals were made in 2007 due to impaired microbiological quality than before, while the number of withdrawals caused by defects found in materials in contact with foodstuffs has increased over the previous years.</div>

In eight cases the withdrawn products were food supplements (pills and extracts marketed as foodstuffs). The reasons for the withdrawal varied. In one case the supplement was a pharmaceutical product that may not be sold in food retail stores. In some cases the food supplements were found to contain excessively high levels of foreign substances, and in one case the supplement contained as an ingredient a novel food that had not undergone a safety assessment. Some food supplements contained a banned radiated ingredient, and in two cases food supplements were withdrawn due to suspicions raised about their health hazards.

Eight products were withdrawn because they contained allergens. The labelling of some soft drinks, for example, did not list sulphite as an ingredient, and some bakery products contained nuts that were not indicated on the labelling. The labelling of some products provided false information about allergens.

Four imported lots of paprika and two lots of domestic apples were withdrawn from the market because their levels of pesticide residues exceeded the toxicity reference limit. Unapproved genetically modified rice was found in two lots of rice, and the microbiological quality of one lot of rice proved to be poor. Microbiological hazards were also the reason for the withdrawal of canned vegetables with defective can seams as well as bread that was suspected of having been made using contaminated water.

Four smoking furnaces and three products packed in materials that were hazardous to health were withdrawn from the market. When the smoking furnaces were heated, the paint used on them decomposed into harmful organic compounds. Too much cadmium dissolved from one batch of mugs and too much lead from another, and phthalate was found to migrate into one food product from the plastic gasket used in the metal lid of the glass jar in which the product was sold.

Two products were withdrawn because of fragments of glass and one product because of fragments of metal. Six brands of cooking cream were withdrawn because they contained dioxin.

More detailed information about the withdrawals is available on Evira's web site at: http://www.evira.fi/portal/en/food/product_defects_and_recalls/

The operators in the food industry normally use newspaper announcements to inform consumers about withdrawn products.

For more information, please contact:
Auli Suojanen, Senior Officer
auli.suojanenat-merkki.gifevira.fi, tel. +358 (0)50 386 8434

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