Tainted Table: Improved Genome Testing and Tighter Regulation Drive Double-Digit Food Recall Increases
INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Powerful new testing methods and tighter regulation helped drive double-digit increases in food product recalls in the second quarter of this year, according to the Q2 2016 "Recall Industry Spotlight" report released today by Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS (NASDAQ: SRCL).
The Recall Industry Spotlight, which focuses on noteworthy developments related to product recalls, shows a significant trend in the food and beverage industry. More accurate and cost-effective genome testing has enabled companies and regulators to identify food contaminants faster in a wider range of products. The result is that FDA contamination recalls alone rose 167 percent from Q1 to Q2 – to a higher level than any quarter in 2014 or 2015.
As testing has become more precise, regulators have also reduced the acceptable levels of pathogens in certain classes of foods. Even foods meant for cooking, which kills most contaminants, are subject to stricter regulations. The report findings reveal new opportunities and challenges for food producers and manufacturers. With enhanced testing there are opportunities to improve food safety; however, the likely side effect is more recalls and greater regulatory complexity as each new safety issue arises.
"It's not that there's necessarily more contamination, it's that the industry is getting better at detecting what's there," said Kevin Pollack, Vice President, Stericycle. "These recalls increased when genome testing gave companies and regulators better tools for detecting bacteria. In the past, they might not have known what was causing an outbreak, but now it's easier to identify contamination causes and recall affected products to better protect consumers."
The Q2 Recall Industry Spotlight also revealed that global food recalls are on the rise, making recall execution more complex than ever before. Something as outwardly minor as a labeling error can trigger a recall when there are jurisdictional differences in the way an ingredient is regulated.
"Disparities between U.S. and EU regulations are already having an impact on global food recalls, and it's a trend we expect to continue. For example, companies have been forced to remove products from shelves in some European countries due to propylene glycol, which is 'generally recognized as safe' in the U.S.," Pollack said. "The long term goal is to increase consumer safety. It's just that each jurisdiction has their own idea of how to reach that goal."
To read more details, download the Q2 2016 Recall Industry Spotlight at stericycleexpertsolutions.com/thought-leadership/.
Check back to this link Tuesday, August 23 for the full Q2 2016 Recall Index, which reports on recall trends in the food, consumer product, medical device, pharmaceutical, and automotive industries.
About the Stericycle Recall Index The Stericycle Recall Index is the only report that aggregates and tracks recall data to help manufacturers and other industry stakeholders navigate the regulatory environment and identify trends. Each quarter Stericycle analyzes data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the FDA and the USDA. For more information, please visit www.stericycleexpertsolutions.com/thought-leadership.
About Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS™Stericycle Inc. is a NASDAQ-listed global business-to-business services company which provides highly specialized solutions to healthcare and commercial businesses of all sizes. Founded in 1989, Stericycle Inc. has grown to become a leader across a range of complex and highly regulated market sectors and operates in 650 locations in 22 countries. Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS™ is the industry leader in managing automotive, consumer product, pharmaceutical, medical device, juvenile product, and food and beverage recalls. ExpertSOLUTIONS streamlines the entire product recall process and manages Notification & Response, Processing & Tracking, and Compliance & Reporting for leading global companies. For more information, visit www.stericycleexpertsolutions.com.
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SOURCE Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS