Food Safety

US food recalls jump at end of 2011

ExpertRECALL graph
While allergens still lead the number of recalls during all of 2011, Listeria in a horserace finish commanded the second-highest number of recalls in the fourth quarter. Source: ExpertRECALL (Stericycle).

Food recalls across the nation increased 50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 and affected 80 percent more products compared with the previous three-month period, according to the quarterly ExpertRECALL, released by Stericycle. The ExpertRECALL Index report aggregates and tracks cumulative recall data from the CPSC and FDA. In contrast, recalls for consumer products, pharmaceutical and medical devices decreased compared with previous quarters.

Undeclared allergens remained the leading factor, accounting for more than a third of food recalls in the quarter. Concerns about Listeria contamination were the second-leading cause of fourth-quarter recalls, accounting for almost 20 percent of all food recalls listed on the FDA’s website from October through December.

In the fourth quarter, FDA enforcement reports documented 176 food recalls initiated by more than 150 companies and affecting nearly 70 million units, according to the report. Of fourth-quarter recalls, 42 affected customers nationwide, while 28 recalls affected domestic and international customers. Two recalls affected only customers outside the US.

“Despite the drop in several other categories, the sharp increase in food product recalls is cause for concern,” says Mike Rozembajgier, vice president of recalls at Stericycle ExpertRECALL. “Food recalls are challenging because they affect all consumers. Ensuring consumer safety during food recalls is complicated further when food is repackaged for storage or put in resealable containers, eliminating any chance of identifying the food in our homes as having been recalled.

“Another issue is that with so many recalls being initiated, consumers suffering from ‘recall fatigue’ may pay less attention to recall announcements than they should,” adds Rozembajgier. “In this current environment, manufacturers and retailers must take extra care to ensure that consumers are receiving the right messages about recalls and that they are encouraged to respond appropriately.”

The ExpertRECALL Index report is available online.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo 2015

Images from Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo in Clearwater Beach, Florida, April 12-15, 2015. The event brought food and beverage processors and suppliers together to gain valuable information on the latest trends and technologies in manufacturing, automation, sustainability and food safety.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering May 2015 Cover

2015 May

The May 2015 issue of Food Engineering explores effective tools for hitting manufacturing targets. Also, read how processors are looking for faster ways to detect harmful pathogens in food and beverages without sacrificing accuracy or reliability.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.