April 22, 2018

Increase in Recalled Food Units in Fourth Quarter 2013

According to Stericycle ExpertRecall, the number of food units recalled in the fourth quarter 2013 in the U.S. increased by 52%. More than 10.6 million units of food were recalled in the last three months of 2013, in comparison with 6.9 million units in the third quarter. The report was issued February 29, 2014.

Recall SignageAt the same time, the 134 food recalls in that time frame were down 47% from the third quarter. That means each recall was for a much larger amount of food, which most likely affected more people. Three recalls in the fourth quarter involved more than 1 million food units. In addition, there was a large increase in complex, nationwide recalls. In the third quarter, just 12% were nationwide recalls, but in the fourth quarter that number jumped to 27%.

In the fourth quarter, USDA reported 19 recalls of meat, poultry, or processed egg products, which amounted to 860,000 pounds of food. In the first quarter of 2013, there were 450,000 pounds of food recalled. In USDA recalls, reasons included Listeria contamination (21%), mislabeling (16%), undeclared allergens (16%), E. coli O157:H7 (11%), no inspection (11%), extraneous material (5%), Salmonella (5%), processing deviations (5%), Staphylococcus contamination (5%), and transportation deviations (5%).

Finally, the report states that the government shutdown in the third quarter of 2013 affected recalls, “demonstrating how changes to the political landscape can further complicate recall management.” ┬áDuring the shutdown, there were the fewest recalls in the last year and a half.

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