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About three-quarters of food exports from European Union (EU) countries goes to the common market in which the free movement of products is ensured. Therefore, it is important to examine from which EU countries the food is exported, what food products they are, and what hazards may be present in these products. The data for research were obtained for 1999-2018 from the Eurostat database (according to the Standard International Trade Classification-SITC) and the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) database. Then, cluster analysis was performed using joining (tree clustering) and two-way joining methods. The main food exporters were the following countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. They exported: cereals, fruits and vegetables, beverages and feeding stuff (in quantitative terms) and fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy products, and cereals (in terms of value). In turn, the most frequently notified hazards in food originating from these countries were: pathogenic micro-organisms, microbial contaminants, metals, composition, foreign bodies, allergens, and pesticide residues. The increase in the number of alert notifications in the RASFF is particularly noticeable in recent years. The results of the research may be useful for activities related to food traceability, changes in the European law, and encouraging the use of extensive methods in agriculture.


Marcin Pigłowski. The Intra-European Union Food Trade with the Relation to the Notifications in the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2021 Feb 08;18(4)

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PMID: 33567732

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