Poultry dominates food recall index
Recalls of chicken and other poultry meats in the third quarter of this year in Europe outpaced any other food category for the second quarter in a row, with Brazil being the top country of origin, according to the latest Recall Index from Stericycle Export Solutions.
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, were the second highest cause of food recalls.
However, compared with Q2, recalls relating to poultry dropped from 223 to 137 over the last three months, with those that originated in Brazil having been reduced by 56.9%.
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.
In addition, even though the number of poultry 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.
According to Stericycle, 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, commented: “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.”