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February 2020

Erroneous detection of chloramphenicol in enzyme preparations

The notifications 2020.0480 and 2020.0634 have recently been published on the EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), see: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/rasff-window/portal/?event=notificationDetail&NOTIF_REFERENCE=2020.0480 and https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/rasff-window/portal/event=notificationDetail&NOTIF_REFERENCE=2020.0634. They refer to the potential presence of an unauthorised substance, chloramphenicol, in an enzyme preparation and baking enzymes, which were notified to the Belgian authorities by a food business operator located in Belgium.

As the Belgian customer and its German and French  suppliers want to guarantee the safety and quality of their products, they took this matter seriously and have taken immediate steps to investigate the possible contamination.

Extensive tests were conducted by independent laboratories on a series of samples (final products and raw materials) related to the concerned products. Analytical results have unambiguously confirmed that none of the samples were contaminated. Subsequent information confirmed that the cause of the initial concern was a false positive result due to an analysis error from the testing laboratory.

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