For the 23rd quarter in a row, undeclared allergens were the top cause of food recalls and accounted for 45% of them in Q3 2021, according to Sedgwick’s latest Recall Index report. Within allergens, undeclared milk was the leading cause and prepared foods remained the leading category.
“Companies need to concentrate on the basics through the second half of 2021 and final emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the report states. “Amid supply chain pressures, high consumer demand and worker health and safety concerns arising from the coronavirus, food businesses are rightfully focused on their ability to maintain and conduct their core operations in safe manner while delivering quality, safe products to customers.”
FDA Recalls: Notable Numbers (Q2 2021)
- 106 recalls affecting 7.9 million units
- 5.8 million units (nearly 69%) impacted by recalls were due to one nut recall
- 19 recalls were a result of quality issues
- 18 recalls were a result of foreign material contamination
- 11 recalls were a result of bacterial contamination—6 from Listeria; 4 Salmonella; and 1 E. coli
USDA Recalls: Notable Numbers (Q2 2021)
- Recalls increased from 10 (Q1) to 12, but numbers still low compared to 2019 quarterly averages
- Units impacted dramatically dropped nearly 83% to 207,322 units
- Undeclared allergens were top cause of recalls, accounting for nearly 42%
- Soy milk and eggs were main allergens, but first recall of food products due to sesame also occurred
- Other recall reasons were quality (2), lack of inspection (2), bacterial contamination (2) and foreign material contamination (1)
- Beef products (93,551 pounds) most impacted category, followed by fish (46,804 pounds)
The report also pointed out that heavy metal regulation will have increased emphasis, as FDA has made it a priority as a result of a report released by Congress earlier this year indicating the presence of dangerous toxic heavy metals found in baby foods.