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Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Jul;48(7):1957-64. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2010.04.043. Epub 2010 May 10.

Gate keepers of EU food safety: four states lead on notification patterns and effectiveness.

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  • 1School of Life Sciences, Kingston University, London KT12EE, UK.


The EU RASFF database has been used to provide information on trends in food notifications. The major focus of previous reports has been on either the health hazards arising from various contaminants found in foodstuff or producers of these faulty products. To complement these analyses, the aim of this paper is to examine the food notifications, recorded via the RASFF between 2000 and 2009, from the detectors' point of view and to compare and contrast detecting activities of those playing a key role in guarding food safety and security in the EU. Data were scrutinized using network analysis to capture underlying pattern in the EU context and detailed descriptive statistics to generate an in-depth view. The results revealed that 60% of the notifications were made by Italy, Germany, the UK and Spain, with the remaining 40% shared among 26 other countries and Commission Services. A distinct reporting pattern was observed between these key countries with the Netherlands showing vigilance above and beyond that expected based on its population, suggesting that countries with major ports might secure food safety in their own country as well as guarding the EU's food market. The ethnic composition may also influence the detection patterns.

2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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