Food Safety Alerts Indicate Continuing Problems in EU Countries

EU - A total of 66 alerts and information notices on contaminated and unsafe food or feed within the EU's borders were sent out to the various member regulators last week, marking a particularly bad period for manufacturers of the products caught by checks or disease outbreaks.

The details are revealed in the weekly report published by the EU's Eurosurvelliance network. An overview of last week shows that continuing problems with Salmonella and with Iranian pistachios continue to crop up as the main food safety problems in the bloc.

By comparison the week before last, countries issued 37 alerts and information notices. However that week was marked by a mass outbreak of E. coli infection from meat.

The processing industry is under regulatory and consumer pressure to ensure better safety of their products. In addition to the damage to a firm's reputation and market share a food safety problem may cause, huge expenses may be incurred due to product recalls and fines.

Last year Eurosurvelliance, the EU's cross-border warning network, recorded 691 alerts about bad foods.

That's a 52 per cent jump in the number of alerts over the previous year. Alerts record incidents of contaminated food or feed that may have crossing into other members' borders. Another 1,897 information notices, a 2 per cent rise, recorded incidents that remained contained within an individual country, or arrived as exports to the bloc and were stopped at its borders.

calendar icon 18 November 2005
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