Looking for savings is a daily activity in difficult economic times like those that many Italian families are going through. The problem becomes even worse when, in the search for the lowest prices, products are added to the cart that lack the necessary quality certifications. less expensive, but potentially much more dangerous.
We are waiting for January 2025 when the new labeling requirements for certain foods come into force, says an analysis by Coldiretti – based on the elaborations of the Rapid Alert System (Rassf) and published on the occasion of the opening of the International Agricultural Fair and Agricultural Forum “Nutrition – In Italy, more than eight out of ten products dangerous to food safety come from abroad (86%)..
Of the total of 317 alarms detected in 2022 – emphasizes Coldiretti – 106 were due to imports from other EU countries (33%) and 167 from non-EU countries (53%) and only 44 (14%) concerned products of national origin .
The greatest health risks to Italian consumers – Coldiretti continued – have so far been identified with dried figs from Turkey for her AflatoxinsIn the Spanish fishdue to the high salary Mercury, in the Polish chicken contaminated by Salmonella and finally with Spanish mussels always with salmonella together with the bacteriumEscherichia coli.
Also very dangerous Pistachios from TurkeyIran and also the United States due to the high levels of carcinogenic aflatoxins as well as the Herbs and spices from India Hey Lychee from China due to the presence of Pesticides in excess of permissible limitsbut there is no shortage of them in the list French oysters with norovirus causing severe gastroenteritis. An emergency that not only affects developing countries, but also extends to richer countries due to the globalization of trade and downward price competition.
Foreign food and drinks are more than ten times more dangerous than those from Italywith the number of agricultural and food products Irregular chemical residues that exceed legal limits This corresponds to 6.4% in Italy for imported products, compared to an average of 0.6% for samples of national origin, according to data from the last report on national data on pesticide residues published by EFSA in 2023.
Label of Italian origin
In the event of a food alert, the greatest fears are pinpointed Difficulty quickly identifying risky products in order to remove them from the market, This leads to a loss of confidence, leading to a general decline in consumption and often causing difficulties for entire sectors of the economy, leading to job losses.
“It is necessary that all products reaching national and European borders meet the same criteria to ensure that behind the food for sale on the shelves, whether Italian or foreign, there is a similar quality path that protects the environment , which concerns work and health,” said Coldiretti President Ettore Prandini.
With this attitude, From January 1, 2025, it will finally be mandatory to indicate the country of origin on the label for various products such as packaged fruits and vegetables, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and other peeled fruits, dried citrus fruits, dried figs and dried grapes, uncultivated mushrooms and saffron, to prevent products imported from abroad from being passed off as “Made in Italy”. and that “due to their ease of use and also for their nutritional properties, they have found a permanent place in the diet of Italians, where Italy also has a strong tradition of quality production.”
However – as Coldiretti reports – the origin remains unknown in several cases, from fruit juices to jams, from canned legumes to bread and biscuits, not to mention the need to also visit restaurants to find out the origin of what is served at the table Specify meat and fish. The request responds to the need of the 80% of Italians who, according to a Censis report, check labels for the ingredients that make up the foods they buy.
At EU level, the process of transparency with beef began after the mad cow crisis in 2002. Since 2003, it has been mandatory to indicate the variety, quality and origin of fresh fruit and vegetables. Since January 1, 2004, there has been an identification code for eggs and, since August 1, 2004, the obligation to indicate on the label the country of origin where the honey was collected
Italy, a European leader in quality, has taken a pioneering role in Community food policy with cost-saving “Made in Italy” labels and a requirement to indicate the origin of products sold, from milk to tomato puree to cheese. The switch from meat to Rice and pasta is thanks to interministerial decrees, which must now be extended until December 31, 2023.