Quality of Romanian Food Products on Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed Notifications

Romanian food products sold on European markets have been accused of several non-conformities of quality and safety. Most products incriminated last period were those of animal origin, especially meat and meat products. The study proposed an analysis of the notifications made by network members through Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed on products originating in Romania. As a source of information, the Rapid Alert System portal and the official communications of the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority were used. The research results showed that nearly a quarter of network notifications were rejected and were withdrawn by the European Authority. Although national authorities present these issues as success stories of national quality policies, the large number of notifications related to the volume of exported products is worrying. The paper is of practical and applicative importance for both the business environment and the academic environment, laying the basis for a wider research on the quality differences between Romanian and imported products.

Quality Management in Spice Paprika Production as a Synergy of Internal and External Quality Measures

Spice paprika is a major spice commodity in the European Union (EU), produced locally and imported from non-EU countries, reported not only for chemical and microbiological contamination, but also for fraud. The effective interaction between producers’ quality management practices and government and EU activities is described on the example of spice paprika production and control in Hungary, a country of leading spice paprika producer and per capita consumer in Europe. To demonstrate the importance of various contamination factors in the Hungarian production and EU trade of spice paprika, several aspects concerning food safety of this commodity are presented. Alerts in the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of the EU between 2005 and 2013, as well as Hungarian state inspection results on spice paprika in 2004 are discussed, and quality non-compliance claims regarding spice paprika among EU member states are summarized in by means of network analysis. Quality assurance measures established along the spice paprika production technology chain at the leading Hungarian spice paprika manufacturer, Kalocsai Fűszerpaprika Zrt. are surveyed with main critical control points identified. The structure and operation of the Hungarian state food safety inspection system is described. Concerted performance of the latter two quality management systems illustrates the effective interaction between internal (manufacturer) and external (state) quality control measures.

Food Safety Aspects of Pesticide Residues in Spice Paprika

Environmental and health safety of condiments used for spicing food products in food processing or by culinary means receive relatively low attention, even though possible contamination of spices may affect food quality and safety. Contamination surveys mostly focus on microbial contaminants or their secondary metabolites, mycotoxins. Chemical contaminants, particularly pesticide residues, however, are clearly substantial factors in the case of given condiments in the Capsicum family including spice paprika and chilli. To assess food safety and support the quality of the Hungaricum product spice paprika, the pesticide residue status of spice paprika and chilli is assessed on the basis of reported pesticide contamination cases and non-compliances in the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed of the European Union since 1998.