Food Recalls: European Union – Week 24

Food Recalls
Food Recalls


This article provides a summary of the food recalls in the European Union for Week 24, 2015

Main Article:

This week on the EU RASFF (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we can find the following notifications:

  1. Alerts followed by a recall from consumers:

- Allergens: traces of gluten (presence) in variety of chocolate flavoured brownie cake bars from the United Kingdom, following company’s own check. Notified by United Kingdom, distributed also to Ireland;

- Foreign bodies: plastic fragmentsin milk chocolate bar with whole hazelnuts from Poland, following a consumer complaint. Notified by Germany;

- Heavy metals: mercury (1.55 mg/kg – ppm)in chilled vacuum packed swordfish fillets (Xiphias gladius) from Spain, following an official control on the market. Notified by Italy, distributed also to Austria;

- Mycotoxins: fumonisins (6738.8; 10500 µg/kg – ppb)in corn meal from Portugal, following an official control on the market. Notified by Luxembourg;

- Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella spp. (presence/25g)in food for enteral use for children from the Netherlands, following an official control on the market. Notified by Germany;

  1. Information for attention/for follow up followed by a recall from consumers:

- Foreign bodies: glass fragments in wine from South Africa, following company’s own check. Notified by Ireland;

- Pathogenic micro-organisms: Campylobacter jejuni (11 positive samples: 800, 100,400, 200, 300, 3100, 9200, 400, 700, 600, 300 CFU/g)in fresh chicken from the Netherlands, following an official control on the market. Notified by Denmark, distributed also to Germany.

  1. Alerts followed by a withdrawal from the market/from recipients:

- Composition: unauthorised substances progesterone (2.56 mg/kg – ppm) and androstenedione (3.02 mg/kg – ppm)in food supplement from India, via Latvia, following an official control on the market. Notified by Czech Republic;

- Composition: high content of iodine (2423 mg/kg – ppm)in dried seaweed from Japan, following an official control on the market. Notified by Germany, distributed also to Netherlands and United Kingdom;

- Industrial contaminants: benzo(a)pyrene (2.7 µg/kg – ppb) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH4 sum: 15.8 µg/kg – ppb)in chilled bacon from Latvia, following an official control on the market. Notified by Estonia;

- Mycotoxins: ochratoxin A (19.3 µg/kg – ppb)in raisins from Turkey, packaged in Poland, following an official control on the market. Notified by Poland, distributed also to United Kingdom;

- Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria monocytogenes (<10 CFU/g)in raw milk cheese from France, following company’s own check. Notified by France, distributed also to Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands and United Kingdom;

  1. Seizures:

In Italy, following an official control on the market, we had a seizure for E 450 – diphosphate (2.37 g/kg) unauthorisedin chilled vacuum packed yellow fin tuna from Spain.

  1. Border rejections:
  • absence of health certificate(s) for curry leaves from India
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 11.6; Tot. = 13.1 µg/kg – ppb) in shelled peanuts, in blanched peanuts (B1 = 3.0 µg/kg – ppb), in blanched groundnut kernels (B1 = 4.5 µg/kg – ppb) and in groundnuts (Tot. = 8.7 µg/kg – ppb) from China
  • aflatoxins(B1 = 13.6; Tot. = 14.4 µg/kg – ppb) in chili powder from India
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 18.1; Tot. = 18.9 µg/kg – ppb) in shelled bitter almonds from Morocco
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 19; Tot. = 24 µg/kg – ppb) in shelled almonds from Australia
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 22.7; Tot. = 24.3 µg/kg – ppb) in pistachios in shell from the United States
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 4.6 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnuts from Brazil
  • aflatoxins (Tot. = 25 µg/kg – ppb) in shelled hazelnut from Turkey
  • chlorpyrifos (0.41 mg/kg – ppm) and dimethoate (1.9 mg/kg – ppm) and unauthorised substances profenofos (0.08 mg/kg – ppm) and dichlorvos (4.6 mg/kg – ppm) in dried beans from Nigeria
  • deoxynivalenol (DON) (1240 µg/kg – ppb) in popcorn from Bosnia and Herzegovina and in popcorn (2308 µg/kg – ppb) from Serbia
  • dried vegetables from China infested with moulds and with insects
  • fenamiphos(0.096 mg/kg – ppm) in fresh pepper from Turkey
  • poor hygienic state of red peppers from Tunisia
  • poor temperature control (> 12.2 °C) of chilled seabass (Dicentrarchus spp) and chilled tuna (Thunnus spp) from Mauritania
  • Salmonella spp. (presence /25g) in betel leaves from India
  • Salmonella Stanley and acephate (0.035 mg/kg – ppm) in frozen okra from Vietnam
  • too high content of colour E 102 – tartrazine, of colour E 122 – azorubine, of colour E 129 – Allura Red AC and of colour E 133 – Brilliant Blue FCF (combined level of dyes > 300 mg/kg – ppm) in marshmallows from China
  • unauthorised novel food ingredient Siraitia Grosvenorii in food supplement from the United States


European Commission. EU RASFF Portal.  Accessed 2015-11-01

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Cesare Varallo
Cesare Varallo is a lawyer in Italy and his specialization lies mainly on food safety, food labeling and food regulatory issues. He founded the website and in 2013 he started his independent consultancy activity for the food business operators. He assist clients in crisis management and offers complete and tailor-made support to companies during food recalls/withdrawals procedures. He also provides legal assistance to clients both in managing consumer’s complaints and in drafting internal procedures to minimize the impact of these incidents. Since April, 2014 he is Vice President of Business and Regulatory Affairs EU at Inscatech, a US based company which, due to its one of a kind approach, is establishing new standards in the fight against food frauds. Inscatech, indeed, is well recognized in the GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) as provider of food fraud intelligence and validated supply chain mapping. He is involved in several teaching and scientific activities, both for private companies and for public institutions, especially regarding food safety. He writes regularly on several Italian and international reviews. He is member of the AIDA-IFLA (Italian Food Law Association) and of the AIBADA (Asociación Iberoamericana para el Derecho Alimentario). Cesare is married and father of one wonderful little lady. He was a professional waterpolo player, and now he is trying to stay fit practicing hiking, mountain bike and swimming. Labrador dogs lover, compulsive reader of historical subjects and military strategy, he expresses his love for food cooking both Italian and ethnical dishes (he is ferociously omnivorous)."