Some 83% of food alerts in Italy in 2018 concerned products which came from abroad.
This is according to Italian farmers association Coldiretti, based on Rapid Alert System (Rassf) data for 2018.
In 2018, Italy sent 398 notifications to the European Union in order to report potentially harmful food destined for human consumption.
Just 70 (17%) of the 398 food alerts concerned products of Italian origin, with 194 (49%) coming from European Union countries and 134 (34%) from non-EU countries.
According to Coldiretti, Italian products feature stronger safety guarantees. The number of non-EU agri-food products with irregular chemical residues was 4.7%, compared to an EU average of 1.2% and 0.4% in Italy.
The list of the most potentially harmful foods included Spanish fish that was found to have a high mercury content and was infested with the parasitic worm Anisakis, French oysters that contained Norovirus, and Polish chicken contaminated with Salmonella enteric.
According to Ettore Prandini, President of Coldiretti, it’s important to guarantee correct information to consumers, and producers are obligated to indicate the national origin of products on the label.