In this section we repeated alert notices from the RASFF system of the European commission issued in the previous month, which we thought to be noteworthy and of interest to our clients.


In the meantime you may have recognized, that the monthly listing became longer and longer. A repetition in AGROLAB RADAR binds meanwhile many hours, so we decided to stop excerpting this information. In addition the alerts did not differ very much from month to month. The typical threats were also deriving from the known countries. Nuts, raisins and dried fruit with mycotoxin contamination from South of Europe and Middle East countries & USA, salmonella in chicken breast from South America, Poland, and numerous spices and seeds with salmonella, and always often a too high sulfite content in dried fruit from Turkey etc.


You can analyze the RASFF-site conveniently by yourself using several filter options and limit the notification to those which are of direct interest to your business.

We from AGROLABGROUP will screen the RASFF listing week by week also in future. From now on we will select and focus only a few really surprising or challenging findings in our opinion, that we will present in this section. Last month we found the following serious alerts noteworthy:

  • Allergens: lactose undeclared on beer from the United States; lactoprotein (2.8 mg/kg) undeclared on vegan chocolate from the Netherlands; gluten undeclared on chocolate sponge cake with milk and coconut filling from Italy; wheat undeclared on peanut snacks from Turkey
  • Ethylene oxide1)9 mg/kg in organic ground ginger from India; 85.9 mg/kg in ginger powder from India; 2 mg/kg in ground turmeric from India; 42 alerts in February for sesame seeds from India and various products containing sesame seeds from all over Europe and neighboring countries
  • Glycidylesters: 1763 µg/kg in multigrain snacks from the Philippines, via the Netherlands
  • Heavy metals: cadmium (3 mg/kg) in frozen whole cuttlefish (Sepia aculeata) from the Netherlands; cadmium (2.7 mg/kg) in frozen squid (Loligo duvauceli) from India, via Spain; cadmium (2.59 mg/kg) in frozen squid tentacles from India; mercury (1.76 mg/kg) in frozen shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) slices from Spain
  • Histamine: up to 571.19 mg/kg in frozen sardine trunks from Morocco, via Spain; 517.1 mg/kg in anchovy fillets in sunflower oil from Italy, with raw material from Croatia; up to 974 mg/kg in chilled tuna fillets in olive oil from Thailand
  • Listeria monocytogenes: < 10 CFU/g in frozen smoked salmon trimmings from Poland, via Denmark; in 2 out of 5 samples /25g in frozen smoked salmon from Italy; presence /25g in frozen blanched organic sweet maize kernels from Hungary; presence /25g in red beetroot chunks from the Netherlands; 200 CFU/g in frozen cooked meatballs from Germany; 1200 CFU/g in venison salami from Italy; presence /25g in smoked cheese from the Czech Republic; 650 CFU/g in chilled vegetarian soya sausages from the Netherlands
  • Mycotoxins: aflatoxins (B1 = 22.6; Tot. = 22.6 µg/kg) in organic hulled buckwheat from China; fumonisins (1642 µg/kg) in white maize flour from Kosovo; aflatoxins (B1 = 8 µg/kg) in spice mix from Pakistan; ochratoxin A (32.4 µg/kg) in chillies seasoning from Turkey, via Germany; aflatoxins (Tot. = 16.1 µg/kg) in red chilli sauce from Pakistan
  • PAH: 3 µg/kg in organic ground black pepper from Sri Lanka, via Germany
  • Pyrrolizidine alkaloids: 27500 µg/kg in ground cumin from Turkey
  • Salmonella: presence /25g in frozen pre-cooked mussels from Denmark; detected/ 375 g in wheat flour from Belgium; presence /25g in chilled cooked shrimps from the Netherlands; presence /25g in veal meat from Belgium used in frozen veal kebab from Germany; presence /25g in chilled sliced salami from Germany; present /25g in sesame seeds from Turkey; 2 out of 5 samples /25g in sesame seeds from Brazil; present /25g in moringa powder from Senegal, via the Netherlands; presence /25g in food supplement from India;
  • shigatoxin-producing coli: stx1+ /25g in frozen beef from Brazil; stx2+ /25g in frozen beef tenderloins from Brazil; O26 stx2+ eae+ /25g in chilled filet americain from Belgium; O103 stx1+ eae+ /25g in chilled minced meat preparation from Belgium
  • Sulphite: 1 mg/kg undeclared on frozen cooked peeled shrimps (Solenocera crassicornis) from India; 3278 mg/kg in dried apricots from Uzbekistan; 830 mg/kg undeclared on dried mushrooms from Thailand, via Sweden; 620 mg/kg undeclared on shiitake mushrooms from China, via Germany; 114 mg/kg undeclared on dried apples from Iran; 27.3 and 49 mg/kg undeclared on lychees from South Africa; 56 mg/kg undeclared on red chilli sauce from Pakistan
  • Vitamins: too high content of vitamin D3 in food supplement offered online for sale


1) Ethylene oxideReinforced import controls for sesame seeds from India because of new Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1540 amending the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1793 as regards sesamum seeds originating in India. The Regulation was published on 22.10.2020 and entered into force on 26.10.2020. The Regulation (EU) 2020/1540 introduces, in addition to the already existing control frequency of 20% of sesame seeds for salmonella, a control frequency of 50% of sesame seeds for pesticide residues. In addition to pesticide residues (analysed by the usual multi-methods), the Regulation also explicitly provides for the analysis for ethylene oxide (the sum of ethylene oxide and 2-chloroethanol, expressed as ethylene oxide).







Author: Dr. Katja Fuchs