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Food Safety

ACN notifications

About the notifications

Members of the Alert and Cooperation Network (ACN) are appointed a single contact point (SCP) responsible for sending ACN notifications via iRASFF, the common online platform created by the European Commission, which access is restricted to members’ competent authorities. Before a notification is sent, a lot of work has happened upstream:

  • a) National authorities inspected an agri-food product placed on the market, physically or online, or presented at the EU border. They may have taken samples and received the results from the laboratory
    b) Companies carried out own-checks and informed their competent authority

  • An agri-food product was found non-compliant and therefore needs to be reported.

  • The national authority decided to report this non-compliance to the ACN, using its SCP, and possibly asking for assistance from other members.

  • Before notifying the ACN, the SCP verified and validated the notification in iRASFF, detailing the findings and measures taken while adding any relevant documents, such as bills, lists of companies having received the products, analytical reports, etc.

What happens next depends on the type of notification:

Non-compliance notification

A non-compliance notification can concern any non-compliance with EU rules, be it on food, feed, plant health or animals, anything covered by Regulation (EU) No 2017/625 that neither presents a risk which would make it notifiable in RASFF nor involves a potential fraud. Non-compliance notifications are circulated within the AAC. The SCP shares the notification with any other members who need to be informed or whose assistance is required.

RASFF notification

If a potential non-compliance represents a serious risk related to food or feed, it must be notified in RASFF. The SCP has to circulate it to the RASFF immediately. This first notification can be supplemented by follow-up notifications to provide subsequently additional information. The European Commission verifies as necessary that the information circulated is appropriate, turning to SCPs to supplement it, if needed.

The RASFF notifications are categorised and labelled to ease their handling. The following categories are used:


Alert notifications are sent when a food or feed presenting a serious health risk is on the market and when rapid action is required. The RASFF member who identifies the problem and takes the relevant measure (e.g. withdrawal of the product from the market) triggers the alert. The goal of the notification is to give all RASFF members the information to confirm whether the product in question is on their market so that they can also take the necessary measures.


Information notifications are used when a risk has been identified about food or feed placed on the market, but the other RASFF members do not have to take rapid action. This is because the product has not reached their market or is no longer present in their market or because the nature of the risk does not require rapid action.


Border rejections concern food and feed consignments that have been tested and rejected at the external borders of the EU (and the European Economic Area – EEA) when a health risk has been found. The notifications are sent to all EEA border posts in order to reinforce controls and to ensure that the rejected product does not re-enter the EU through another border post.


Any information related to the safety of food and feed products which has not been communicated as an alert or an information notification, but which is judged interesting for the control authorities, is transmitted to the RASFF members under the heading News.

Fraud notification

The below defined terminology and categorisation are based on the EU legislation, the CCFICS ‘Draft guidelines on the prevention and control of food fraud’ and the CEN working document ‘Food authenticity - Food authenticity and fraud - Concepts, terms, and definitions’.

Monthly report categorisation