The Arma dei Carabinieri, Command for the Protection of Agri-food, interrupts another fraud on the origin of the tomato. With the aggravating circumstance of pesticide residues out of control, in the 821 tons of Egyptian concentrate seized by order of the GIP at the Court of Nocera Inferiore (SA).
The press refers to a local industry 'leader in the canning sector'and to the denunciation of the two brothers owners'AP and AD'(1,2). A secret of Pulcinella on Pasquale Attianese and his brother Daniele Mara, 50% shareholders of Attianese SpA (with 750.000 shares, for the same number of euros, each).
The numerous third-party certifications boasted on the site Internet of the industrial group stimulate further reflection on governance of the System.
Attianese, the maxi-seizure of tomato concentrate
The Carabinieri of the RAC (Agri-food Protection Department) of Salerno and the Carabinieri Aliquota of the local Section of Judicial Police - under the coordination of the Prosecutor at the Court of Nocera Inferiore, Antonio Centore - in recent days carried out an urgent preventive seizure at the large canning industry of the Agro Nocerino Sarnese.
The maxi-kidnapping involved over 3 thousand 250 kg metal drums of semi-finished product, origin from Egypt, intended for the reworking and packaging of double or triple tomato concentrate, in tubes and cans. In view of their sale - especially a private-label - with groups leader of large-scale retail trade e discount, in Italy and abroad.
Pesticides out of control, ASL activation duties and notification in Brussels
The first news refer to the ascertainment - by the Carabinieri of the Agri-food Protection Department - of alarge amount of pesticides inside the tomato concentrate of Egyptian origin', with the 'concrete risk of harm to human health'. The investigation was therefore extended to the crime of trading in harmful food substances. (3)
For the sake of completeness, 'the huge material seized is what remains of a much more conspicuous batch of semi-finished products; in fact it has been ascertained that some hundreds of tons have already been marketed in EU and non-EU countries'. (1)
It is therefore a duty immediately involve the competent health authorities, who must activate a withdrawal and / or recall campaign for food products at risk and notify the alert in Brussels in the RASFF system (Rapid Alert System on Food and Feed). (4)
Notice to consumers, corrective actions
In the event of well-founded fear on the possible non-compliance of a food with the safety requirements, the operator must 'immediately initiate procedures to withdraw it and inform the competent authorities. If the product can have reached the consumer,
- inform consumers, effectively and accurately, of the reason for the withdrawal and,
- if necessary, recalls products already supplied to consumers when other measures are insufficient to achieve a high level of health protection' (5,6).
Duties and Responsibilities of the Distributor
The distributors in Italy and in the EU, in turn, they have full responsibility for ensuring compliance of the products they market with the rules in force. (7) The rules introduced by Legislative Decree 231/01 on corporate administrative responsibility postulate, among other things, the adoption of specific procedures and measures against suppliers who are unreliable, for reasons such as those in question. (8)
The security risk food for chemical contamination with outlawed pesticides (or in any case above the permitted limits) entails the duty, on the part of distributors, to proceed to:
- notification to the competent ASL of the lots in stock of the supplier in question,
- immediate withdrawal from the shelf and possible public recall of products at risk, (9)
- segregation of products in stock, awaiting updates.
How to identify potentially risky products?
Waiting for clarification official, Attianese SpA products - under its own brand, or even under the brands of some distribution chains or discount stores (eg. ALDI, PAM, Kaufland in Germany, Albert Hejin in the Netherlands) can be identified by:
- manufacturer's name, Attianese SpA (Food Industry), and / or
- headquarters of the plant in Nocera Superiore (SA), via Nazionale km. 41,850 SN, and / or
- manufacturer initials, ATT1 or ATT2, printed with inkjet next to the minimum shelf life (on the 'fold' of the tube, the bottom of the jar, the cap or neck of the bottle).
Il Teleconferencing of certifications displayed on the site website di Attianese SpA is as redundant as it is ineffective, in the light of the events that emerged:
- Kosher certified. Services International Kosher Supervision Ltd. (Turin)
- FDA registration. Registrar Corp (Virginia, USA),
- biological operator. CCPB (Bologna)
- ISO 9001: 2015, SAI Global Assurance (Sidney, Australia),
- BRC Global Standard for Food Safety, Issue 8, SAI Global
- IFS Food Version 6.1, SAI Global,
- ISO 22005: 2007, Agroqualità SpA.
Traceability 'certified' by RINA
ISO 22005 certification - issued by RINA Agroqualità in Attianese starting from 29.9.15 and renewed until 28.9.21 - certifies the following:
- '' Company traceability for the reception, processing, storage and sale of canned peeled and diced tomatoes (...), tomato concentrate packaged in tinplate milk, in tinplate cans and aluminum tubes and tomato puree in brik .
- Objectives: to support food safety, determine the history and origin of products, facilitate product recall / recall.
- Tracked elements: tomato and concentrate suppliers of Italian origin, date and quantity of tomato and concentrates conferred, tomato variety. Suppliers of salt, citric acid, packaging, batches of processed tomatoes, customers'. (10)
The perimeter of the certification seems to be limited to the precise purpose of excluding the traceability of suppliers of foreign raw materials which also, carta sings, has a not negligible impact on the activities of Attianese SpA The RINA certification group, in turn, is under investigation by the Genoa Public Prosecutor's Office for false ship safety certifications. (11)
Tomato origin, the infallible analysis
Public controls and private individuals on tomato preserves can and indeed should now make use of an innovative analysis protocol developed in Italy, at the Experimental Station for the Food Preserving Industry (SSICA) of Parma. The analysis of the minerals present in vegetable preserves allows us to trace the origin of the tomato used with an accuracy of 99,9%. (12)
The Experimental Station however, he removed his Vegetable Preserves Department from the coordination of Antonio Trifirò, the internationally renowned researcher who was responsible for the development of the only method that makes it possible to distinguish honest operators from criminals. (13) And only after repeated requests did its director decide to activate this service. In the meantime, the BioChemie Lab analysis laboratory in Campi Bisenzui (FI) has equipped itself to perform this type of analysis.
Just run the analyzes above on samples of canned tomatoes to be taken on the market (retail and HoReCa), in Italy and abroad, to put an end to this #Vergogna that affects an emblematic supply chain of Made in Italy food.
The reputation of the country-system risks falling apart even on the only productive sector that still resists delocalization, guarantees employment in rural areas and creates value. After Petti, Attianese and others, the system must be cleaned up once and for all.
(1) Operation 'Scarlatto Due': tomato Made in Egypt. TV Today Salerno. 8.6.21, https://www.tvoggisalerno.it/operazione-scarlatto-2-pomodoro-made-in-egitto/
(2) In Italy they sold Egyptian tomatoes contaminated with pesticides: a maxi kidnapping by the Carabinieri. Fanpages. 8.6.21, https://www.fanpage.it/attualita/vendevano-pomodoro-egiziano-contaminato-da-pesticidi-maxi-sequestro-dei-carabinieri/
(3) Criminal Code, article 444 - Trade in harmful food substances. 'Anyone who holds for trade, sells or distributes for consumption substances intended for food, not counterfeit or adulterated, but dangerous to public health, is punished with imprisonment from six months to three years and a fine of not less than euro 51 '
(5) EC Reg. 178/02, article 19 (Food related obligations: food business operators). Consolidated text at 21.5.21 on
(6) For further information, see theebook 'Food safety. Mandatory rules and voluntary norms' https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/libri/sicurezza-alimentare-regole-cogenti-e-norme-volontarie-il-nuovo-libro-di-dario-dongo
(7) Dario Dongo, Pier Luigi Copparoni. Responsibility of the distributor, insights. GIFTS (Great Italian Food Trade). 22.5.18/XNUMX/XNUMX, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/etichette/responsabilità-del-distributore-approfondimenti
(8) Dario Dongo. Corporate administrative responsibility in the food supply chain. GIFTS (Great Italian Food Trade). 21.6.18/XNUMX/XNUMX, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/responsabilità-amministrativa-d-impresa-nella-filiera-alimentare
(9) The distributor also has the right to perform analyzes on the samples available, preferably relying on accredited laboratories
(10) ISO 22005:2007 Certification from RINA Agroqualità to Attianese SpA, http://www.attianeseconserve.com/it/wp-content/uploads/Certificate-ISO-22005.pdf
(11) Marco Grasso. Ship safety, maxi-investigation on Rina: "Certifications also adjusted after the massacres at sea". The wiretapping. Daily fact. 22.5.21, https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/in-edicola/articoli/2021/05/22/limportante-e-che-galleggino-le-carte/6206247/
(12) Dario Dongo. Preserves, an analysis is enough to reveal the origin of the tomato. GIFTS (Great Italian Food Trade). 26.6.20/XNUMX/XNUMX, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/innovazione/conserve-basta-un-analisi-a-rivelare-l-origine-del-pomodoro
(13) Dario Dongo. Tomato Industry and Experimental Station of Parma, SSICA. Red alert. #Clean shovels. GIFTS (Great Italian Food Trade). 2.5.21/XNUMX/XNUMX, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/industria-del-pomodoro-e-stazione-sperimentale-di-parma-ssica-allarme-rosso-vanghepulite
(14) Dario Dongo. Canned tomato Petti, commercial fraud. Maxi-seizure of RACs. GIFTS (Great Italian Food Trade). 26.4.21/XNUMX/XNUMX, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/consum-attori/conserve-di-pomodoro-petti-frode-in-commercio-maxi-sequestro-dei-rac
(15) Piennolo PDO cherry tomatoes with alien juice? The lawyer Dario Dongo answers. DO (Food & Agriculture Requirements). 5.7.20/XNUMX/XNUMX, https://www.foodagriculturerequirements.com/archivio-notizie/domande-e-risposte/pomodorini-del-piennolo-dop-con-succo-alieno-risponde-l-avvocato-dario-dongo
Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.