Not all of the food you eat is healthy, especially if it comes from foreign countries where it can be difficult to control quality and respect hygiene. The fact is that in 2020, in Italy, almost one food alert was issued per day with as many as 297 notifications sent to the EU, of which only 56 concerned products of national origin, while 160 came from other EU countries and 81 from countries outside the European Union.
This is what emerges from Coldiretti’s dossier on the “blacklist of the most dangerous foods” presented by the association yesterday, at the conclusion of the 19th International Forum on Agriculture and Food, based on the findings of the latest report from the World Health Organization. The EU Rapid Alert System, which, in effect, records alerts for food hazards that have been verified due to chemical residues, mycotoxins, heavy metals, microbiological contaminants, dioxins or additives and dyes in the EU last year.
Coldiretti points out that in Italy, more than eight out of ten food alerts have been triggered by dangerous foods coming from abroad. But what is this black list of foods to avoid? sesame seeds from India in fashion salatone salatone standing on the catwalk; low-cost chicken from Poland; Turkish fruits and vegetables and Brazilian black pepper. But also peanuts from the United States and Argentina, Turkish and Iranian pistachios, and French oysters.
In general, India is at the top of the ranking of countries from which the most contaminated food comes, and is responsible for 12% of the food alerts issued in Europe, Turkey, 10% and Poland, but concerns also come from France, from ‘Netherlands, and from China. Coldiretti explained that the greatest risks came precisely from sesame seeds from India, which are very common in health authorities, due to the presence of ethylene oxide, and from Polish chicken with salmonella, but there are also fruits and vegetables on the risk platform. Brazilian black pepper, on the other hand, is at risk for salmonella. Dried figs from Turkey due to their high content of carcinogenic aflatoxins, as well as peanuts from the USA, Argentina, Turkish and Iranian pistachios, while in French oysters, contamination with the Norovirus responsible for gastroenteritis was identified.
However, these are not insignificant quantities considering that Italy imported 7 million euros of sesame seeds from India in 2020 with a total of nearly 5 million kilograms, while 14 million kilograms of meat arrived from Poland. Chicken worth more than 20 million euros arrived Import of fruits and vegetables from Turkey to 416 million euros. Fortunately, the Italians react well to these risks and demand 87% of the ban on entering national markets for products from countries that do not have social rules and compliance with safety and health protocols similar to those in Italy and European countries. “It is necessary to ensure that imports of products from third countries respect the same social, health and environmental standards as Italian and European products,” says Coldiretti President Ettore Prandini, who also emphasizes the importance of the EU guaranteeing the principle of reciprocity in trade relations.
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