ExpertRECALL has released its findings for food and product recalls for the second quarter of 2012. The data shows that recalls have increased by 19% in the second quarter when compared to the first quarter of the year. The recalled products included sub sandwiches, peanut butter, romaine lettuce, and juice.
Undeclared allergens are the primary cause of recalls, accounting for 40% of all food recalls. Salmonella contamination was the second leading cause of recalls, followed by Listeria, Clostridium botulinum, and E. coli. Recalls in the second quarter were initiated by 156 companies, with twelve companies announcing more than one recall.
Thirty-four of the recalls were nationwide; the others were confined to states or certain cities. Former FDA Senior Recall Coordinator Willie Bryant said, “it is critical that FDA- and CPSC-regulated industries follow the agencies’ requirements and guidelines to assure that they are met, thus diminishing the likelihood of a volative product and subsequent recalls.”
Recalls are most likely to be issued voluntarily by corporations when company or government testing or consumer complaints reveal an issue with contamination or mislabeling. Until the Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law by President Obama in January 2011, the FDA had no power to force a company to recall products. Now they can force a recall, but the company has the opportunity to make its case before the FDA before one is issued.
No company has ever refused a recall request from the FDA or USDA, according to Ohio State University Extension. If a company refuses to issue a recall, the FDA and USDA do have the power to seize the product and stop production if the product is deemed dangerous to public health.