Research – Finland and Switzerland see food recalls rise

Food Safety News

Food recalls increased for the sixth year in a row in 2021, according to the Finnish Food Agency (Ruokavirasto).

The amount of alerts passed 300 for the first time and were mainly because of microbiological contamination, allergens and pesticide residues. The 309 recall total was 42 more than in 2020.

Microbiological concerns such as Salmonella, Listeria and other bacteria caused 49 recalls, which is up 9 percent compared to the previous year. Salmonella was behind 26 recalls in products including fresh herbs and eggs while Listeria in items such as cheese caused five recalls.

Switzerland has revealed the number of recalls and public warnings issued in 2020.

The Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) published 28 public warnings and 49 recalls for food. Warnings were most often because of pesticide residues, pathogenic microorganisms or allergens. Recalls were mainly because of pesticide residues, foreign bodies or mycotoxins.

At the beginning of 2020, Swiss authorities were informed about norovirus in oysters and mussels from France. Eight other EU countries received mussels from affected French production sites. In Switzerland, illnesses occurred following consumption of these products.

A total of 241 RASFF notifications concerned Switzerland and 62 were issued by the country.

For the 241 notifications, almost a third related to pesticide residues and 27 were because of microbial contamination. Of notices raised by Switzerland, 15 were because of mycotoxins and pesticide residues caused eight. Fifteen products from Switzerland were the subject of a RASFF post. The most frequent hazard was microbial contamination with four notifications.

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