Sharp Spike in the Number of Food Recalls is Cause for Concern

Food recall incidents have hit their highest levels in the last two years with 414 incidents in the third quarter of 2012 alone. Data released by Stericycle ExpertRECALL highlights the increase and the potential need for increased public concern, especially during the upcoming holiday season.

ExpertRECALL, based in Indianapolis, IN, provides recall management services for a variety of products including pharmaceutical and medical products, food and beverage products and recalls involving consumer product safety. ExpertRECALL assists companies with the recall process, helping to ensure all documentation and communication requirements for the various government regulatory agencies are met.

ExpertRECALL also compiles an index of recall data gathered from Federal Drug Administration (FDA) (www.fda.gov) Enforcement Reports. Its data shows 414 incidents of food recalls in the third quarter of 2012. This number is 2.5 times greater than the amount of recalls in the second quarter for the same year.

Most alarming is that the FDA Enforcement Reports showed that among the 414 food-related incidents, 58 percent involved a Class I recall. Class I recalls are the highest level recall classification at the FDA, indicating that the product posed a high threat to public health. The majority, 359 recalls, were confined to specific states in the United States, while 30 incidents involved nationwide recalls.

In total, the recalls affected almost 8.5 million units of food and beverages. This was a 57 percent increase from the second quarter.

food recallsMany Companies Experienced More Than One Recall

Many companies in the data experienced more than one product recall. In fact, nine companies experienced an alarming 10 or more product recalls. A larger number, 44 companies, had two or more recalls and 189 food and beverage companies had at least one product recall.

Mike Rozembajgier, Vice President of Recalls for Stericycle ExpertRECALL, is concerned at the alarming rise, especially during the busy holiday season. “As consumers are bombarded with advertisements and messages from manufacturers and retailers during the holiday season, it will be much more difficult for companies to cut through the clutter and connect with consumers on recalls,” says Rozembajgier.

Most of the food and beverage recalls involved incidents of Salmonella and Listeria contamination. In fact, the bacteria reached their highest levels of concern in the last ten quarters.

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