BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The European Feed Manufacturers' Federation (FEFAC) said on April 22 that the number of notifications to the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) decreased by 16% in 2013. The drop was due to a reduction of the number of border rejections for seeds for birds due to presence of aflatoxin.
The RASFF was put in place to provide food and feed control authorities with an effective tool to exchange information about measures taken responding to serious risks detected in relation to food or feed.
FEFAC said 272 feed related notifications were sent to the RASFF in 2013, 79% for feed for farmed animals and 21% for petfood. Of these notifications, 12.5% triggered alerts, whereas 60.5% gave rise to information and 27% to border rejections.
These 272 notifications represent slightly less than 10% of all notifications to the RASFF (feed and food). Microbiological contamination of feed materials is statistically speaking the most frequent motivation for notification to the RASFF (55% of all notifications) and is stable vs. 2012.
The high number of notifications concerning aflatoxin in maize and the high number of notifications linked to the detection of ruminant DNA in products of animal origin and fish feeds are the most typical characteristics of the 2013 RASFF notifications, reflecting the higher than usual prevalence of aflatoxin in E.U. maize harvest 2012 and the implementation of a new extremely sensitive method of controls for the presence of prohibited ruminant proteins.
Unlike in the last years, there has been no critical contamination case that provoked large media coverage. However, the number of alert/information notifications regarding critical contaminants remained significant for example for dioxin/PCBs (16 vs. 24 in 2012) and prohibited substances such as chloramphenicol (4 alerts).Contamination with traces of GM events not authorized in the E.U. triggered a single notification to the RASFF in 2013 (rice proteins from Pakistan).