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 AGROLAB GROUP 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:

  • Acrylamide: 4 µg/kg in biscuits from Turkey
  • Allergens: hazelnut (9.5 mg/kg) undeclared on organic gluten-free chocolate-coated crispy cereals from Italy; cashew nut (4.32 mg/kg) undeclared on milk chocolate with buckwheat from Russia; soya undeclared on food supplement from Italy; crustaceans undeclared on food supplement from the Netherlands; almond undeclared on chocolate roses from Germany
  • Cyanide: amygdalin: 493 mg/day in food supplement from Slovakia; 3.1 mg/dosage in food supplement from Slovakia; 27.5 mg/kg in organic almond kernels from Italy used in nut mix from GermanyPublic warning press release
  • Ergot alkaloids: 5807 mg/kg in rye from Germany, via Poland
  • Ethylene oxide1):15 mg/kg in psyllium used in chocolate milk bread from France; 2.0 mg/kg in organic lemon and ginger bars from Italy; 19 alerts in March for sesame seeds from India and various products containing sesame seeds from all over Europe and neighboring countries
  • Glycidyl esters: 4839 µg/kg in cookies filled with dates from Saudi Arabia, via the Netherlands; 2950 µg/kg in pure vegetable ghee from Turkey; 4998 µg/kg in vegetable ghee from Turkey
  • Heavy metals: cadmium (2.6 mg/kg) in frozen whole squid (Loligo duvauceli) from India; cadmium (3.6 mg/kg) in frozen squid tentacles (Uroteuthis duvauceli) from India; mercury (3.4 mg/kg) and high content of lead (38 mg/kg) in food supplement from India; mercury (1.5 mg/kg) in chilled swordfish (Xiphias gladius) from Morocco, via Portugal; mercury (1.85 mg/kg) in canned tuna in oil from Italy; mercury (1.44 mg/kg) in chilled yellowfin tuna filet from Spain; cadmium (0.464; 1.39 mg/kg) in frozen tuna from Pakistan; cadmium (0.27 mg/kg) in frozen skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) from Ecuador; mercury (1.556 mg/kg) in chilled swordfish (Xiphias gladius) from Morocco; cadmium (0.27 mg/kg) in chilled horse meat from horses slaughtered in Italy, originating from Poland; lead (0.23 mg/kg) in white wine from Italy; cadmium (0.12 mg/kg) in garlic from China; cadmium (0.071 mg/kg) in garlic from China
  • Histamine: food poisoning caused by histamine (280 mg/kg) in frozen yellowfin tuna loins from Vietnam, via the Netherlands; 1071 mg/kg in canned tuna from Thailand; >1000 mg/kg in chilled tuna loins from Sri Lanka; 810 mg/kg in frozen tuna from Pakistan
  • Iodine: 47800 mg/kg in food supplement from Turkey
  • Listeria monocytogenes: <10 CFU/g in chilled vacuum-packed garlic sausage from France; up to 300 CFU/g in salami from Spain; presence in chilled raw milk goat's cheese from France; presence /25g in sheep cheese with pistachios from Italy; <10 CFU/g in brie cheese from France; presence in raw cow's milk cheese from France; presence /25g in soft cheese from Austria; presence /25g in raw cow's milk cheese from France; <10 CFU/g in chilled raw milk cheese from France; 17000 CFU/g in frozen organic sweetcorn kernels from Hungary
  • Mycotoxins: aflatoxins (B1 = 9.1 µg/kg) in organic brown basmati rice from Pakistan; ochratoxin A (5.26 µg/kg) in basmati rice from the Netherlands; ochratoxin A (7.6 µg/kg) in ground coffee from Serbia, via Germany; aflatoxins (B1 = 3.6; Tot. = 4.3 µg/kg) in peanut and caramel ice cream paste from Bosnia and Herzegovina; aflatoxins (B1 = 10.6 µg/kg) in masala spice mix from Pakistan; aflatoxins (B1 = 19.1; Tot. = 19.8 µg/kg) in chicken masala spice mix from Pakistan; aflatoxins (B1 = 43.4; Tot. = 48.8 µg/kg) in nutmeg from Indonesia; ochratoxin A (24.3 µg/kg) in broken nutmeg from Indonesia
  • Norovirus: foodborne outbreak suspected to be caused by and norovirus (GI, GII) in frozen precooked mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) from Spain; withdrawal of live oysters harvested in France because of possible contamination with norovirus
  • PAH: sum PAH: 88 µg/kg in turmeric and ginger extract from the United States; benzo(a)pyrene (26 µg/kg) and sum of PAH4: 125 µg/kg in food supplement from the United States; benzo(a)pyrene (24 µg/kg) in food supplement from the United States
  • Pyrrolizidine alkaloids: 8895 µg/kg in oregano from Turkey, produced in the United Kingdom, packaged in France
  • Salmonella: presence /250g in liquid chocolate from the Netherlands; presence /25g in fuet sausage from Spain, via Italy; presence /25g in hulled sesame seeds from Nigeria, dispatched from Turkey; presence /25g in dehydrated mint leaves from Iran; presence /25g in mixed herbs from Germany; presence /25g in turmeric powder from India
  • Shigatoxin-producing coli: O185:H7, stx2+ /25g in chilled beef rump caps from Argentina; O26 stx2+ eae+ /25g in chilled beef rump tails from Argentina; stx2+ /25g in soft cheese from France
  • Sulphite: 140 mg/kg undeclared on candied mango with plum powder from Thailand; 83 mg/kg undeclared on canned chickpeas in water from Italy
  • Tropane alkaloids: foodborne outbreak suspected (tropane alkaloids) to be caused by deep frozen spinach puree from Slovakia


1) Ethylene oxide: Reinforced import controls for sesame seeds from India because of new Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1540 amending the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1793 as regards sesame 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 (analyzed 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