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 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:

  • 3-MCPD and Glyciddylesters: 3-MCPD (up to 4831 µg/kg) and glycidyl esters (up to 4356 µg/kg) in cookies from Iran, via Germany; glycidyl esters (5700 µg/kg) in vegetable oil from Turkey; glycidyl esters (7800 µg/kg) in palm oil from Malaysia
  • Acrylamide: 503 µg/kg in biscuits from the Republic of North Macedonia; 1173 µg/kg in cookies from Ukraine
  • Allergens: peanut (640 mg/kg) undeclared on cookies from Iran, via Germany; lupin undeclared on organic wholemeal rye rolls from Germany; wheat undeclared on bulgur and pasta from Turkey, Public warning- press release; egg undeclared on shortcake biscuit from the United Kingdom; almond undeclared on fruit tea from Germany; gluten, peanut and egg undeclared on chocolate bars with rum filling from Romania; milk ingredient undeclared on pistachio flavoured macarons from Belgium, Public warning- press release; milk ingredient (150 mg/kg) undeclared on salted caramel brownie protein snacks from the United Kingdom; soya undeclared on organic corn, rice and tapioca cream from Austria; mustard (50 g/kg) undeclared on wasabi powder from Malaysia; nuts undeclared on pate from Belgium; egg undeclared on spicy cheese from the Netherlands; mustard undeclared on organic horseradish from Germany
  • Ethylene oxide1): 146 alerts in November for sesame seeds from India and various products containing sesame seeds from all over Europe and neighboring countries, including 3 samples with additional detection of 2-chloroethanol
  • Heavy metals: cadmium (1.6 mg/kg) in frozen Indian squids tentacles (Uroteuthis duvaucelii) from Thailand; cadmium (1.3 mg/kg) in frozen whole Indian squids (Uroteuthis duvaucelii) from Thailand; lead (0.45 mg/kg) in frozen cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) from Tunisia; cadmium (0.1985 mg/kg) in frozen mackerel (Scomber scombrus) from Greenland, via the Faeroe Islands; mercury (1.5 mg/kg) in thawed swordfish (Xiphas gladius) loins from Spain; mercury (2.5 mg/kg) in vacuum-packed defrosted swordfish from Spain; mercury (0.89 mg/kg) in frozen barracuda from Vietnam
  • Histamine: 7 mg/kg in chilled tuna (Thunnus albacares) from Sri Lanka, via the United Kingdom
  • Listeria monocytogenes: 68000 CFU/g in chilled smoked trout fillet from Denmark; presence /25g in chilled smoked pork meat from Poland; 350 CFU/g in cooked sausages with smoked garlic from France; present /25g in Syrian cheese from the Netherlands; 160 to 2900 CFU/g in pizza baguette with ham from Poland; present /25g in pesto from Belgium
  • Mycotoxins: fumonisins (sum B1+B2: 890; 1130 µg/kg) in organic corn waffles from Slovakia; deoxynivalenol (DON) (2174 µg/kg) in popcorn from unknown origin, packaged in Poland
  • Norovirus: GI, in 1 out of 5 samples /100g in frozen raspberries from Morocco, via Germany and via Poland
  • PAH: benzo(a)pyrene (20 µg/kg) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (sum of PAH4: 86.2 µg/kg) in organic cocoa powder from Indonesia, via Belgium; benzo(a)pyrene (21.1 µg/kg) in food supplement from Switzerland, via the Netherlands; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (sum of PAH4: 93.1 µg/g) in maca extract from China; benzo(a)pyrene (16,1 µg/kg) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (87,6 µg/kg) in ground cinnamon from Vietnam, via Latvia
  • Pyrrolizidine alkaloids: 5522 µg/kg in ground cumin from Germany; 20377; 5786 µg/kg in ground cumin from Turkey, produced in the United Kingdom, packaged in France; 9948 µg/kg in ground cumin from Turkey, via the United Kingdom
  • Radioactivity: too high level of radioactivity (Cesium 137:1566 BQ/kg) in mushrooms from Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Salmonella: in 2 out of 5 samples /25g in frozen boiled clam meat (Paratapes undulatus) from Vietnam; presence /25g in cooked unpeeled shrimps from the Netherlands; detected /25g in pasteurized liquid egg yolks from the Netherlands; foodborne outbreak suspected to be caused by Salmonella enterica ser. Kedougou in courgettes from the Netherlands and Spain; in 1 out of 5 samples /25g in dried sausages from France; Salmonella enterica ser. Rissen (presence /25g) in chorizo from Spain, via Germany, Public warning-press release; presence /10g in organic minced pork and chipolata from Belgium, Public warning-press release; presence /25g in sesame seeds from Nigeria, dispatched from Ukraine; in 1 out of 5 samples /25g in sesame seeds from Nigeria, dispatched from Ukraine; presence /25g in organic sesame seeds from Ethiopia; Salmonella (16:b:-subsp. I /25g) in organic sesame seeds from Ethiopia
  • Shigatoxin-producing E. coli: stx1+, stx2+, eae+, O26 in chilled beef from Belgium; stx1+ stx2+ /25g in vacuum-packed beef salami from Slovenia
  • Sulphite: 277 mg/kg undeclared on sriracha chilli sauce from the United States, via Canada


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 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