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Food Recalls Up in the Second Quarter 2018

Food recalls, issued both by FDA and USDA, were up in the second quarter 2018 when compared to the first quarter, but the numbers were lower than other recent historical quarters.

That’s the summary of the latest Recall Index report from Stericycle, which noted FDA food recalls increased 7% to 147 individual recalls. That total was the second lowest quarterly total issued by FDA since the first quarter 2016.

However, the number of actual recalled food units increased 20 times to about 212.8 million units due to one large recall. Rose Acre Farms recalled nearly 206.7 million eggs due to potential contamination with salmonella April 13, representing the lion’s share of the recalled units.

The top FDA recall cause was undeclared allergens at 42.2%, followed by bacterial contamination at 32%. No other recall reason topped 9%. However, when broken down by unit, bacterial contamination accounted for 99.2% of total recalls. Undeclared allergens clocked in at only 0.4%.

Additionally, for the sixth quarter in a row, FDA food recalls were led by prepared foods. The category represented 18.4% of the total share of FDA food recalls.

USDA recalls increased in total by one to 29 during the quarter. The number of pounds recalled by USDA increased 74% to more than 1.7 million-lbs., but the total was still lower than 11 of the last 17 quarters tracked by Stericycle.

The top reason for USDA recalls was foreign material contamination, at 31%. A lack of federal inspection (20.7%) and undeclared allergens (17.2%) rounded out the top three reasons for a USDA recall. The top USDA recall categories during the quarter were beef (31.0%), multiple meats (27.6%), pork (24.1%) and poultry (17.3%).