Hazards and Crisis Management: Food Alerts and Recalls


The UK operates a system of food alerts but since 1 January 2021 no longer plays an active part in the EU Commission Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) network. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) continues to receive information that affects the UK.

The RASFF enabled the prompt exchange of information between EU Member States and provided for the notification of direct or indirect risks to human health deriving from food or feed. The network includes EU Member States, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Commission which is responsible for managing the network.

The RASFF is, however, open to applicant countries, third countries or international organisations, based on reciprocal agreements with those countries or international organisations.

The provisions of the retained EU general food law Regulation (EC) 178/2002 which established the RASFF were repealed by EU Exit regulations save for an amended Article 53 which now provides a power to make regulations in cases of emergency where food or feed originating in the United Kingdom, or imported into Great Britain from outside the UK, is likely to constitute a serious risk to human health, animal health or the environment.