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The correlation between official controls on the market and alert notifications notified in the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF)

Key words:
official controls, alert notifications, RASFF,
correlation analysis

For a significant part of alert notifications in the RASFF in the period 2003-2014 the
notification basis was the official control on the market (in about 71% of cases) and the value
of Pearson correlation coefficient r for variables: official controls on the market and alert notifications for the whole population was 0.85. Therefore, the goal of the article was to
examine in which products categories and hazards categories the correlation between the
number of official controls on the market and the number of alert notifications was the
The very high or high correlation occurred in the case of 12 out of 26 products categories
and in the case of 18 out of 25 hazards categories. However, particular attention should be
paid to these categories, in which simultaneously: official controls on the market were
performed and alert notifications occurred most frequently (the first ten categories) and were
reported each year in the period considered. This situation occurred in the following products
categories: dietetic foods, food supplements, fortified foods, fish and fish products, herbs and
spices, meat and meat products (other than poultry), nuts, nut products and seeds and hazards
categories: composition, food additives and flavourings, heavy metals, industrial
contaminants, mycotoxins and residues of veterinary medicinal products.
In the proposal of the European Commission with regard to the revision of law relating to
official controls on the market attention was drawn to the importance of the reliability of
controls performed by the operators and specific rules were indicated to be used during
official controls on the market in relation to e.g.: products of animal origin, residues of certain
substances in food and plants. Therefore, it seems that it would be necessary to develop such
cooperation between operators and authorities, so that the value of correlation between official
controls on the market and alert notifications in the RASFF could decrease, whereas the share
of the operators own controls of operators could increase as the basis for alert notifications.

dr inż. Marcin PIGŁOWSKI
Gdynia Maritime University
Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Quality Science
Department of Commodity and Quality Science
ul. Morska 81-87, 81-225 Gdynia
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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