A total of about 47 food safety problems were reported across the EU last week, including a cluster of alerts about aflatoxins in nuts and unauthorised cheese from the UK.

Last year 538 notifications concerned aflatoxins in pistachios, of which 487 concerned those primarily originating from Iran. As a result the European Commission cracked down on imports from Iran and put in place new measures. All consignments from the country are analyzed twice, the first time prior to export by Iran’s regulators and the second time prior to import by the EU member state.

Other alerts concerned cheese; corn flacks; and flower. Latvia reported finding insects in corn flakes imported from Estonia. The UK found undeclared gluten and milk ingredients in pate from Belgium.

The UK reported finding curd cheese made domestically x that had been produced using unauthorised processing methods and which had not properly been screened by the processor for antibiotics. The country’s regulators also found unauthorised nitrofuran in raw shrimps imported from Bangladesh and from India. They reported finding benzopyrene in smoked fish and prawns from Ghana.

Denmark reported finding Salmonella typhiurium DT 104 in fresh pork tenderloin produced locally. The country also found ochratoxin A, a mould, in domestic wholegrain rye flour. Regulators there found Salmonella spp. in a minced turkey meat product imported from Germany.

The Slovak Republic found there had been bad temperature control measures taken in refrigerated fresh Nile perch fillets from Tanzania.

Last year Eurosurvelliance, the EU’s cross-border warning network, recorded 691 alerts about bad foods, a 52 per cent jump in the number of alerts over the previous year. The EU’s rapid alert notification list serves as an early warning system for regulators from member states and for those along the supply chain who use the foods as ingredients or put them up for sale.