Food chain more and more of interest for criminals

Since 2013, EU Member States together with non EU countries Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, exchange information and cooperate in matters where they are confronted with violations of the food chain legislation of cross-border nature. It helps the EU Member States and other European countries to work in accordance with the rules laid down in the Official Controls Regulation.

The so-called EU Food Fraud Network (FFN) facilitates assisting and coordinating communication between competent authorities and transmitting and receiving requests for assistance in these matters. The liaisons bodies are required to exchange information necessary to enable the verification of compliance with EU agri-food chain legislation with their counterparts and, in certain cases, with the Commission, where the results of official controls require action in more than one country.

official controls  food fraude  FFN  europol  europe

21-05-2020 10:May:st
 

Modified Reference Point Index (mRPI) and a decision tree for deriving uncertainty factors: A practical approach to cumulative risk assessment of food contaminant mixtures

Risk assessment of chemical mixtures remains a challenging task in all areas of food and consumer safety. So far, no general method has been developed that is best suited to several subject areas (e.g. food contaminants, additives and supplements, plant protection products). Especially for mixtures of food contaminants sophisticated methods are typically not applicable due to a general lack of complete toxicological data sets.

We developed a new approach, the modified Reference Point Index (mRPI), that combines the advantages of the Hazard Index and the Reference Point Index. Furthermore, we developed a decision tree for the determination of specific uncertainty factors that makes the mRPI an easy to use method for cumulative risk assessment even in a data poor field such as food contaminants. To further characterise the estimated cumulative risks, the Maximum Cumulative Ratio (MCR) was adapted to be applied on the mRPI, and the modified Maximum Cumulative Ratio (mMCR) was established to identify whether the risks are dominated by a single substance.

risk assessment  EU  contaminants  AGES

19-05-2020 12:May:th
 

Commission: No mandatory front-of-pack labelling in the Farm to Fork

Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides scaled back the ambition of the EU’s new food policy during a meeting with agriculture MEPs on Monday (11 May), revealing that it will not provide a compulsory EU-wide nutritional food label scheme.

“The Farm to Fork (F2F) will be promoting harmonised labelling, but will not be mandating the type of labelling,” she told the agriculture committee (COMAGRI). She did added though that the upcoming Commission report on front-of-pack nutrition labelling will provide evidence on the need for harmonisation in this area, as under the current EU rules it is only voluntary.

official controls  nutri-score  europe

12-05-2020 17:May:th
 

Belgium food safety agency: Checks continue despite Coronavirus control measures

Almost 4,500 kilograms of food has been confiscated by the Belgian food safety agency (FASFC). The agency stressed it has continued efforts to protect public health since control measures for coronavirus were put in place in mid-March.

Vehicle inspections by a unit of the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) have led to four vans being seized and the destruction of 4,450 kilograms of food such as meat, fish and cheese in the past week.

official controls  Belgium

01-05-2020 07:May:st
 

Listeria in frozen vegetables: how to reduce risks

EFSA has assessed the risks to public health from Listeria contamination of vegetables that are blanched – scalded in hot water or steam for a short time – before they are frozen. They conclude that the risks associated with the consumption of these products is lower than for ready-to-eat foods such as smoked fish, cooked meat, sausages, pâté, soft cheese – which are usually associated with listeria contamination.

Food business operators often blanch vegetables before freezing them because this stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavour, colour and texture.

official controls  listeria  EFSA  ECDC

28-04-2020 05:Apr:th
 

EFSA assesses health risks of aflatoxins in food

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a risk assessment on aflatoxins in food.

The report evaluates toxicity of aflatoxins to humans, estimates dietary exposure of the European Union population to these mycotoxins, and assesses the human health risks due to estimated dietary exposure. The risk assessment by the Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain is an update of similar work in 2007 and 2018.

official controls  mycotoxins  europe

31-03-2020 17:Mar:st
 
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