EWS annual report 2018 available now!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

With 358 EWS notifications divided across 204 EWS cases, GMP+ International faced a significant increase of 49% in the number of EWS notifications compared to 2017 (240).

The number of warnings sent to GMP+ participants was the lowest (7) compared to the past four years.

The key facts and figures of the EWS notifications 2018 are shown in our EWS infographic and excel overview. The overview can be found after login in to the Portal. On the GMP+ Portal you will find the detailed information per EWS case for product type, contaminant, sources and countries who are involved. 

Feed materials and microbiological hazards dominate

Almost 80% of the notifications (284) concerned feed materials. Compound feed, feed additives, premixtures and (former) foodstuff caused much less problems for GMP+ participants. The number of notifications (155) about microbiological hazards dominate in 2018. The main hazards in feed material (148 notifications) are Salmonella and Enterobacteriaceae. The most issues with Salmonella in feed materials occurred in soy bean meal (47 notifications). The most issues with Enterobacteriaceae in feed materials occurred in whey (19 notifications).

Besides the fact that feed materials dominate in the notifications, feed additives show an increase from 6 to 38 notifications in 2018.

Substantial more pesticides/insecticides and heavy metals notifications

The number of notifications relating to pesticides/insecticides has increased from 44 notifications in 2017 to 85 notifications in 2018. This makes the contaminant ‘pesticides/insecticides’ grow with 193%. Also the number of notifications about heavy metals increased in the past year from 11 notifications in 2017 to 30 in 2018, almost a tripling. 

Causes of contamination

In almost 58% of all notifications the cause of the contamination is known. Hereof 45% of the notifications the cause of the contamination originated somewhere in the production process (category ‘processing inside feed company’). This may be during cultivation (for instance because of the use of pesticides), processing (for instance by a leakage in a machine) or during transport and storage (for instance because of cross-contamination) of the relevant product.

Human error(18) is cause number 2, followed by processing outside feed company(14)(e.g. laboratories, food companies, etc.).

In 25% of the notifications the cause of the contamination was not found. The reason for this is that the investigation did not reveal a cause. In 17% of the notifications the cause of the contamination was not applicable, because after studying the case it was concluded that:

  • the contamination was not confirmed by the counter analysis;
  • the feed turned out to be safe;
  • the specific feed safety limit was not exceeded;
  • there was no specific feed safety limit for the contaminant.

The importance of a good risk management system!

The relatively low number of EWS warnings shows that GMP+ certified companies, in most cases, had the situation under control quickly, limiting the risk of contamination in the chain, and preventing feed safety from being compromised. This shows that a good risk management system is implemented within the companies. But of course the challenge for 2019 is to find the source of contamination in all cases.

Used terminology:
Notification: Unsafe feed being reported to GMP+ International.
Case: The whole of notifications about the same unsafe situation. It concerns notifications of different companies. Several notifications may relate to one case.
Warning: GMP+ participants are warned to be alert to possible contamination in the purchase of a certain product from a certain country or region. The situation is urgent and not (fully) under control.