December 20, 2014

Food Recalls Surged in 2011 Fourth Quarter

There was an 80% increase in the food units recalled by the FDA in the last three months of 2011, according to the ExpertRECALL™ Index.

Details of the report about the fourth quarter of 2011 include:

  • 176 recalls were initiated by 150 companies
  • Almost 70 million units of food were recalled
  • There were 50% more recalls in 2011 Q4 than in 2011 Q3
  • There were almost 55% more recalls in 2011 Q4 than in 2010 Q4
  • Half of the recalls were Class I, which indicates a dangerous or defective product that could cause serious health problems or death.
  • The primary cause for recalls was for undeclared allergens
  • The second leading cause was for potential Listeria contamination
  • The third leading cause for recall was potential Salmonella contamination

The report stated that officials are concerned that the large increase in recalls could spur “recall fatigue”, when consumers stop focusing on recalls and may miss some critical information.

There was no explanation for the increased number of recalls, but it’s possible that corporations may be becoming more vigilant in the face of future increased scrutiny from the Food Safety Modernization Act.

ExpertRECALL™ uses and analyzes information from the FDA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission to prepare its results. Chart reprinted with permission from Stericycle ExpertRECALL™.

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