November 20, 2017

Impact of Brazilian ‘fowl’ up means poultry still dominates food Recall Index

Correlating with new reports that Brazil exported[1] more chicken than ever in August, recalls of chicken and other poultry meats in Q3 in Europe were higher than any other food category for the second quarter in a row, and Brazil was the top country of origin, the latest Recall Index from Stericycle Expert Solutions finds.

However, compared with Q2, recalls relating to poultry dropped from 223 to 137 over the last three months, with those that originated in Brazil reducing 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. Still, more work needs to be done to bring these numbers back down to historical levels.

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.

Worryingly, 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. 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

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.”

Stericycle Expert Solutions encourages manufacturers and retailers to ensure they have a robust recall procedure in place to quickly locate products for effective removal. It has recently launched 4Sight, a recall preparation service that helps companies to decide on the most appropriate recall package to suit their needs and integrates proven best practices regardless of the organisation’s size, geography, industry or regulatory environment.

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 report: https://www.stericycleexpertsolutions.co.uk/recall-index/