U.S. food recalls drop in Q3

November 22, 2013

According to ExpertRECALL, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Enforcement Reports documented 252 food recalls in the third quarter of 2013, representing a 14% decline over the previous quarter. However, recalls in the third quarter affected approximately seven million units, twice as much compared to the previous quarter. According to FDA documentation, one recall affected 2.5 million units, three recalls affected between 500,000 and one million units, and eight recalls affected between 100,000 and 500,000 units. The remaining recalls affected fewer than 100,000 units.

Of the recalls documented in FDA Enforcement Reports during the third quarter, 44% were classified as Class I recalls, 47% were categorized as Class II recalls, and 9% as Class III. Recalls documented in the third quarter were initiated by 136 companies. Of these companies, 40 faced more than one recall. One company faced 24 recalls in the quarter, followed by three other companies that faced more than 10 recalls. Of the recalls documented by the FDA in the third quarter, 30 recalls affected customers throughout the United States. In this same period, 19 recalls affected customers in the U.S. and at least one other country or U.S. territory.

Allergens were the single largest cause of food recalls, representing approximately 40% of recalls reported in the third quarter (allergen recalls can be a result of contamination or labeling issues). Allergens have been the first or second largest cause of food recalls in the past seven quarters.

Foodborne illness remains a top concern, as Salmonella, Listeria, and botulism accounted for more than 40% of recalls reported during the third quarter.

FDA Enforcement Reports

ExpertRECALL press release (pdf)