While the consumer product and automotive industries saw a significant increase in recalls during the first quarter of 2016, food and beverage recalls were down.
According to the Stericycle Recall Index released last month, the food and beverage category decreased in both units and number of recalls in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the fourth quarter of 2015.
“Regulators remain vigilant in their efforts to ensure the safety of consumers,” says Kevin Pollack, vice president of Stericycle. “In the vast majority of cases, companies share this commitment to ensuring that consumer safety is top of mind, but even with the best of intentions, mistakes happen. This quarter’s index offers a sobering reminder that great companies find themselves immersed in recalls for a wide range of reasons and are best served when they work under the assumption that it’s not a matter of if a recall occurs, but when.”
So far in 2016, 49 percent of FDA’s recalled food units were withdrawn from shelves because of foreign material contamination, including glass, metal and plastic. This differs from 2015 where the leading cause of recalls was undeclared allergens. According to researchers, the same categories—prepared foods, baked goods and fruits and vegetables—continue to experience the greatest impact from recalls.
Beef was the top recalled USDA product in Q1, making up nearly 68 percent of the total pounds recalled. Chicken was the second most recalled item at 29 percent, followed by pork.