The EU has one of the highest food safety standards in the world – largely thanks to the solid set of EU legislation in place, to keep food and feed safe. As part of the food safety tools, the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) was established to ensure the exchange of information between member countries to support swift reaction by food safety authorities in case of risks to public health resulting from the food chain.
Its legal basis is Article 50 of Regulation (EC) N° 178/2002 also known as the General Food Law.
- RASFF was set up to allow food safety authorities to rapidly exchange information on health risks derived from food or feed so that they can take immediate action to avert the risk.
- RASFF provides a round-the-clock service to ensure that urgent notifications are sent, received and responded to collectively and efficiently.
- Vital information exchanged through RASFF can lead to products being recalled from the market.
- Thanks to RASFF, many food safety risks are averted before they can cause harm, from farm to fork.
While access to RASFF is exclusively granted to member countries’ authorities and the European Commission, an interactive, searchable online database, called RASFF Window, offers public access to summary information about the most recently transmitted RASFF notifications and allows searching for information on any notification issued in the past (currently limited to 2020 and later).
The European Commission created this RASFF database to make information available to consumers, business operators and authorities worldwide. Notifications in RASFF Window do however, not reveal commercial details such as brands and business operators.
RASFF Window is the main interface for non-member countries to get informed about notifications concerning products that either were produced there or dispatched from there or that had been exported there by a member country.
RASFF Window includes a RASFF consumers' portal, which provides information on recent food recalls and public health warnings in member countries linked to RASFF notifications.