Reporting and recalling unsafe food and animal feed

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Are you a producer, distributor, or seller of human food or animal feed in the Netherlands? And did you potentially make, supply, or store an unsafe product? You must report this immediately to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel en Waren Autoriteit, NVWA).

If you fail to notify the NVWA of unsafe food or animal feed, you may be fined, receive a written warning, or an official report.

What is unsafe human food?

A foodstuff is a substance or product ultimately consumed by humans.

A product is considered unsafe human food if:

  • the product is unsuitable (for instance if it is contaminated with extraneous matter or otherwise contaminated, it has deteriorated, or does not comply with legal standards)
  • the product is harmful (for example, if it contains too many chemicals or glass particles)
  • it does not meet the conditions for biological safety or for chemical safety (for instance, when it is contaminated with bacteria it contains unsafe levels of pesticides)

The NVWA's instruction for reporting unsafe food (Meldwijzer NVWA onveilige levensmiddelen, in Dutch) can help you when a food is unsafe and you should make a report.

Reporting unsafe human food

Dis you sell, produce, distribute, or store potentially unsafe human food in the Netherlands? You must report this to the NVWA (in Dutch). You must also inform the NVWA who supplied you with the unsafe raw material and to whom you supplied the end product . In addition, you must inform your supplier(s).

Did you transport or distribute human food and do you think this food may be unsafe? You must report this to the NVWA as well.

You can find direct links to all applicable (Dutch-language) forms to report unsafe food and unsafe animal feed on the NVWA's website.

What is unsafe animal feed?

Animal feed is a substance or product ultimately consumed by animals. If you produce, sell, or transport animal feed you should register with the NVWA. If you supply farms with animal feed for barn animals or cattle, you must register your business with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and report all relevant data with regard to the products you have supplied(in Dutch).

Unsafe animal feed is:

  • feed which contains undesirable or harmful substances, or extraneous matter
  • feed which may be hazardous for the health of animals and people
  • feed that is harmful to the environment

Reporting unsafe animal feed

Did you discover potentially unsafe feed or animal by-products? You must report the animal feed to the NVWA (in Dutch). Anyone working with animal feed has to report unsafe products, for instance:

After your notification

After you have reported unsafe human food or animal feed, the NVWA will check with you:

  • how big the risk is
  • if the measures you have taken are sufficient
  • if you should take extra measures such as retrieving the products from stores or announcing a recall

If the health risks are substantial, you must recall the product and supply a safety warning (in Dutch) to the NVWA. The NVWA will contact you for this to make a proper safety warning according to their protocol. The NVWA publishes all recalls on their website (in Dutch).