January 24, 2019

Fourth Quarter 2012 FDA Recalls Highest Number in Two Years

FDA-logoStericycle ExpertRECALL has just issued its report for the level of recall activity in the fourth quarter of 2012. According to the Index, the 552 food recalls issued in the last three months of 2012 works out to an average of six per day. The recalls affected 18.4 million products, more than double the amount affected in the third quarter.

Mike Rozembajgier, vice president of recalls at Stericycle, said, “right before FDA’s announcement of two major requirements proposed under the Food Safety Modernization Act, the agency documented 552 food recalls, representing a 33 percent increase over the previous quarter and reaching the highest level of recall activity in more than two years. As the agency continues to shift its focus toward prevention rather than simply reacting to foodborne illness outbreaks, we can expect the FDA to pay more attention to what companies are doing to ensure our food is safe and prevent recalls from occurring. Companies with a recall plan that is ready are likely to best weather the impending storm of increased regulatory scrutiny.”

Ninety-four percent of all recalled products in the fourth quarter were Class I designation, meaning the food could cause serious health consequences or death. The Salmonella outbreak in Sunland Inc. peanut butter accounted for 165 of those recalls. That product sickened 42 people in 20 states. Salmonella concerns were the number one cause for recalls, following by undeclared allergens.

The recalls were initiated by 166 companies. Of those companies, 62 faced more than one recall. One company was involved in more than 160 events; a second was involved in nearly 100 events. Of gthe recalls, 274 affected consumers in certain states, while 53 recalls were nationwide. Foodborne illness concerns, including Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli, and botulism caused about 65% of recalls initiated during the fourth quarter.

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