Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed in the EU – Sept 2012


The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (“RASFF”) aims to provide a comprehensive EU-wide network for food risk communication. Articles 19-20 of Regulation 178/2002 (the “General Food Law”) require food and feed operators to inform the competent national authorities of foods which they know or suspect are not in compliance with safety requirements. If an operator’s food or feed product poses a serious risk to human/animal health and/or the environment and this is communicated by national authorities to the European Commission’s RASFF network it can lead to a high profile, multijurisdictional recall. Even those food or feed business operators whose product is compliant can suffer as a result of the overall reputational damage of a RASFF notification to a particular food, commodity group or country of origin. These business risks are heightened by the fact that RASFF notifications are publically accessible. Recent legislation and upcoming reforms will further affect the functioning of RASFF.

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