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EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed / 40 years of keeping consumers safe


The European Union (EU) is celebrating the 40 years of the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed.

Food safety is an issue of national and international significance, an issue that affects all countries and has a substantial impact on both public health and economic activity. Operating since 1979, RASFF is one of the great success stories of the EU’s integrated approach to food safety, showing the power of communication and collaboration. By providing a system for the swift exchange of information between member countries and the coordination of response actions to food safety threats, it has become an indispensable tool for protecting and reassuring consumers.

The European Commission continues to invest in further shaping this essential tool that is contributing to high food safety standards in the EU, preventing dangerous food or feed from reaching the consumer and allowing swift action to be taken to remove such products from the market.

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Food safety has an impact on the wellbeing of citizens

Ever since the FAO/WHO International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN), was established the RASFF has been a keen supporter and is now communicating on a daily basis with the INFOSAN secretariat at WHO headquarters.

Dirk Lange from the Directorate General for Health and Food Safety at the European Commission said: “In the EU, RASFF’s main purpose is to keep consumers safe, informed and protected. This is the priority when dealing with food and feed crises”.

Protecting consumer health and ensuring fair practices in international food trade, “places Codex at the centre of international debates”, said Lange. “The RASFF has been instrumental in instilling trust in European consumers as food safety has an impact on the wellbeing of citizens”.


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Photo: European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella KYRIAKIDES