Most fowl: Poultry tops the table of recalled foods
Chicken and other poultry meats were recalled more than any other food in the last three months, according to new figures, with bacterial infection logged as the most common cause.
COMING HOME TO ROOST: Bacterial infection was the most common cause for food recalls.
Stericycle Expert Solutions’ latest Recall Index has clocked 137 poultry recalls in the last three months, making Q3 (July to September) the second quarter in a row fowl has topped the table.
However, this still represents a decrease of 38 per cent over Q2 and the recalls of chicken originating in Brazil, which drove overall recall rates up to the highest in 15 years last quarter, are down by 56.9 per cent.
This indicates an improvement for the country, which had to conduct an intensive investigation into the alleged bribing of food safety inspectors after many countries, including those in the EU, curtailed its meat imports.
For the third consecutive quarter, the main reason for food recalls was due to the risk of bacterial contamination, which was behind 226 of the 866 food recalls logged.
The Q3 2017 Stericycle Expert Solutions Recall and Notification Index also shows that chemicals, which can range from pesticides through to contaminants from plastic packaging, was the second highest cause of food recalls.
Even though the number of chicken recalls decreased quarter on quarter, the overall rate of food and beverage products being recalled has hardly moved from 871 in Q2 to 866 in Q3. This means that with the inclusion of feed and food contact materials, recalls over the last quarter are at the fourth highest level since the RASFF rapid alert system began.
Farzad Henareh, European Vice President at Stericycle Expert Solutions, said: “We can clearly see that measures taken in Brazil at the beginning of the quarter have helped to reduce the number of recalls and notifications relating to Brazilian poultry exports by quite a margin. However, an incident of this nature only reinforces the importance of very high food standards and rigorous legislation. Given that there are many hazards around food production and manufacture, we would encourage the industry to get a robust recall plan in place and be prepared.”
The Stericycle European Recall and Notification Index is based on data from the EU’s RAPEX and RASFF rapid alert systems. For access to the full Q2 2017 Index, please download the here.