Fried by Recalls: Egg and Beef Issues Highlight Jump in Food & Beverage Recall Activity in Q2 2018

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 Diet & Nutrition News
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Stericycle Expert Solutions' Q2 2018 U.S. Recall Index shows foodborne illnesses continue to plague the U.S. food supply chain

INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- With 2018 shaping up to be a serious year for foodborne illnesses,1

food recall activity by both the FDA and USDA saw significant increases in Q2 2018 due largely to bacterial contamination, undeclared allergens and foreign materials, according to the latest Recall Index released today by Stericycle Expert Solutions (NASDAQ: SRCL). The Recall Index covers recalls in the food, pharmaceutical, automotive, medical device, and consumer product industries.

Recalled FDA food units increased more than 20 times in the last quarter to nearly 213 million, mostly due to one large recall of salmonella-contaminated eggs that caused illnesses across the eastern seaboard and Colorado. The number of FDA food recalls increased seven percent over the previous quarter to 147, driven by undeclared allergens in foods (42.2 percent) and bacterial contamination (32 percent). 

Similarly, USDA recalled pounds of food increased 74 percent to more than 1.75 million. The surprise was beef, which was the top category for recalled USDA pounds for the second consecutive quarter, coming in at 44.2 percent. Prior to Q1 2018, beef had not been a top recall category for two years. The discovery of foreign materials was the top cause of USDA recalls (31 percent).

"Outbreaks of foodborne illness caused by bacteria and other contaminants are perennial news makers, but if the first half of the year is any indication, 2018 will be one of the more noteworthy years for food and beverage recalls," said Mike Good, vice president of Marketing & Sales Operations, Stericycle Expert Solutions. "There is no single cause we can point to. Whether it's better testing methods, fewer inspectors, flawed farming and production practices, or other causes, this news suggests we need to redouble efforts in protecting the nation's food supply chain." 

Record Setting Fines in Consumer ProductsConsumer product recalls decreased by 21 percent to 57 in Q2 2018 – the lowest quarter since Q1 2015. After two surprising consecutive quarters of no fines being issued by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), Q2 had the largest single fine in CPSC history, which was $10 million+ more than the previous record fine set in Q1 2016.  

After breaking a four-quarter streak in Q1 2018, sports and recreation was once again the top product category based on recalls, comprising 26.3 percent. In terms of consumer risk, fire was the top hazard for both recalls and recalled units, with more than 2.7 million units recalled due to fire risk.

Auto's Electric System ChallengesElectrical system issues became the top cause of recalled units by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the first time since Q3 2014. More than 5 million units were recalled in Q2 2018 due to electrical problems.

The good news is that NHTSA recalls declined overall by 12 percent to 189 recalls in Q2 – the lowest quarter since Q2 2017 and below 13 of the last 16 quarters. Recalled NHTSA units decreased by 14 percent to a total lower than 10 of the last 12 quarters.

Drug DeviationsPharmaceutical recalls declined as well, dropping 27 percent in Q2 to 77, which is lower than six of the last eight quarters. Recalled units dropped 95 percent to nearly 15.9 million, but in line with the recent average quarter (2013-2016).

For the second quarter in a row, deviation from Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) was the top cause based on units recalled, while "failed specifications" was the top cause of recalls for the eighth quarter in a row.

Medical Device Sterility Struggles Medical device recalls increased five percent to 360, making it the largest quarter since at least 2005 and surpassing last quarter's record by 17 recalls. However, recalled units decreased 80 percent to about 42.4 million – lower than eight of the previous 13 quarters.

Sterility was the top cause for recalled units at 33.7 percent. This breaks a two-quarter run for manufacturing defects. The quarter also saw an increase in the number of companies experiencing multiple recalls. Sixteen companies reported at least five recalls in Q2, which is the largest since Q3 2013.

The full Q2 2018 Recall Index is available at https://www.stericycleexpertsolutions.com/recall-index/.

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 Expert Solutions™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 550 locations. Stericycle Expert Solutions™ is the industry leader in managing automotive, consumer product, pharmaceutical, medical device, juvenile product, and food and beverage recalls. Expert Solutions 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.

1 Publisher's Platform: 2018 has been a Big, Bad Year for U.S. Foodborne Illnesses, Food Safety News, July 22, 2018

 

Cision View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fried-by-recalls-egg-and-beef-issues-highlight-jump-in-food--beverage-recall-activity-in-q2-2018-300692015.html

SOURCE Stericycle Expert Solutions



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