Recall data provided by the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) indicated that heavy metal topped the recall list this quarter, overtaking undeclared allergens as the lead reason for food recalls in the U.S.
On the whole, though, recalls in the food and beverage sector remained relatively steady, and FDA food recalls declined slightly by 8% to 138, while the number of food “units” pulled from the market rose 6%, the report found.
Stericycle also indicated that although the total number of FSIS recalls remained the same at 28, the total recalled pounds of beef, poultry, pork, seafood and other food products increased 69%, to just over 1 million pounds.
Contamination with “foreign materials” was the leading cause of recalled FDA units at 53%, while bacterial contamination was the primary reason, at 58%, for FSIS recalled pounds.
Overall, recalls for all products (including non-food recalls) tracked by Stericycle have increased by 33% over the past 5 years. The company attributes the increase in recalls to an “improving economy, globalization, and growing consumer awareness.”
“One thing didn’t change over the past five years: Consumers, manufacturers, regulators, and lawmakers remain concerned about the safety of products,” said Stericycle Vice President Mike Good. “What has changed is the public is paying more attention to the recall process and how effectively brands manage product recalls and notifications.”
Source: Stericycle Recall Index