EVOLVING THREATS IN FOOD SAFETY
We are proud to partner with 8/10 of the world’s leading food and drink brands.
Regulatory scrutiny has been increasing around the world in response to a number of high-profile product recalls and rising consumer expectations for product safety in the food and drink industry. Moreover, as local health officials advocate immediate action, the severity of regulatory measures against contamination and safety incidents in the sector has notably escalated to safeguard consumer health.
This heightened vigilance follows a number of fatal foodborne illness outbreaks, but the trend does not apply only to those risks. Undeclared allergens, toxins, manufacturing errors, mislabeling or unintentional cross-contamination and environmental contamination are a growing risk for food and drink manufacturers.
Since 1995, we’ve partnered with the world’s leading food and drink manufacturers to develop, test and execute over 7,000 product recall and remediation programs across 100 countries and 50 languages.
Whether you’re planning for — or currently facing — a product recall, market withdrawal or any other in-market product incident, our experts are on hand to support you.
PRODUCT RECALL MANAGEMENT FOR GROCERS
Grocers are pivotal in swiftly removing affected products from shelves by establishing proactive recall management protocols.
A strategic combination of notification services, robust call center support, and a flexible global product removal team makes the difference between executing a seamless food and beverage recall and encountering a brand crisis.
This preparedness is particularly critical for grocers with private label foods. In the event of a product recall, these grocers, akin to manufacturers, face identical standards.
For more than 25 years, we have expertly managed thousands of global food and drink recall events and market withdrawals, and expertly mastered complex and evolving regulatory guidelines. Today we are proud to partner with 8 out of the world’s leading 10 food and drink brands – discover how we can support you.
PRODUCT RECALL MANAGEMENT FOR MANUFACTURERS
Food and drink manufacturers face multifaceted challenges in ensuring product recall effectiveness.
Compliance with regulatory obligations is paramount, demanding meticulous attention to detail. Since 1995, our expertise has guided the sector through intricate regulatory landscapes, conducting meticulous on-site effectiveness checks, overseeing adherence to strict product handling standards through comprehensive quality audits, and efficiently removing violative products from the market.
The identification and notification of affected parties across the supply chain can also present significant challenges. It requires a comprehensive understanding of the supply network, swift communication, and precision in disseminating relevant information to affected stakeholders.
For more than 25 years, we have helped food and drink manufacturers orchestrate seamless communications, and have been pivotal in removing affected products from shelves and consumers’ homes with the speed and accuracy demanded by regulatory agencies. Discover how we can support you.
For over a decade, Sedgwick brand protection has published its quarterly Recall Index report. Downloaded in more than 100 countries, the Index has established itself as the definitive guide to food and drink product safety. Access high-level insights below and download our latest edition in full.
U.S. Food and Drink Product Safety & Recall Insights
Quarter 3, 2023
The total number of FDA food recalls fell by 14.4% in Q3 2023 compared to the previous quarter. The number of units decreased even more, falling from 114.06 million units in Q2 to 40.20 million in Q3, a decline of 64.8%. There were 121 unique companies who had product recalls in Q3 2023.
There were 52 recalls for undeclared allergens, making it the leading cause of U.S. food recalls for all but one quarter since Q2 2017. There were six recalls involving undeclared sesame, which affected 12,985 units. Bacterial contamination was a distant second in terms of events with 24 recalls in Q3. It also had the second-highest number of units recalled with 7.97 million. Units outside of specifications accounted for the most units impacted with 14.95 million units.
Prepared foods was the top recall product category in Q3 in terms of events with 31 recalls. Produce was the second-highest category with 25, and dairy was third with 16. In terms of units impacted, beverages had the most with 15.04 million units. Dairy was second with 11.08 million units affected, and flavorings was third with 7.14 units involved in recalls.
There were fewer Class I and II recall events in Q3 2023 compared to Q2 2023, with 38 and 74 respectively. In contrast, the number of units involved in Class I recalls jumped by 409.4% to 12.73 million. The changes with Class III recalls were even more significant. While there were only two more recalls in Q3, there were 22.27 million units impacted, the highest number in this class in the past 13 years. That figure represents an increase of 698.0% compared to the 2.79 million Class III units impacted last quarter.
Quarter 2, 2023
In Q2 2023, the number of food and drink product recalls rose by 30.8% to 153. The increase in the number of units impacted was even more dramatic with 114.1 million units affected, representing a 190.6% increase from Q1.
There were 82 product recalls attributed to undeclared allergens, an uplift of 46.4% on the 56 events reported in Q1. Undeclared allergens were also responsible for the most units recalled this quarter, a total of 85.0 million, accounting for 74.5%.
Prepared foods was the top recall category both in terms of events and units impacted, there were 42 product recalls involving 61 million units.
Quarter 1, 2023
FDA food product recalls increased by 23.2% to 117 in Q1 2023. However, the number of units impacted plummeted 78.7% compared to last quarter, from 184.0 million to 39.3 million. A major recall for a workout beverage contaminated with plastic was responsible for 21.0 million units.
Undeclared allergens was the leading cause of U.S. food recalls, with 56 events, while Foreign materials impacted the most units, with 29.7 million units.
The number of Class I product recall events fell from 34 to 29 in Q1, and involved 3.3 million units. Class II recalls increased from 55 last quarter to 67 (impacting 33.7 million units), while Class III recalls rose from six to 21 recalls (impacting 2.2 million units).
EUROPEAN Food And Drink PRODUCT SAFETY & RECALL INSIGHTS
Quarter 3, 2023
Regulators in the EU and UK reported 1,194 food and beverage recalls in Q3 2023, up 1.1% compared to Q2 2023. The leading cause of recalls this quarter was contamination—other, with 470 events. The most common contaminants of concern were aflatoxins and chlorpyrifos, which were linked to 79 and 59 recalls respectively this quarter. The second leading concern across the food and beverage sector was bacterial contamination which was cited in 266 recalls. Salmonella was the most common bacterial risk and was tied to 182 recalls.
Fruits and vegetables remained the product category with the most recalls with 192 events in Q3 2023, down slightly from 206 last quarter. Nuts, nut products, and seeds was the second-most impacted category with 127 recalls, slightly higher than the 122 recalls last quarter. Poultry meat and poultry meat products was the third-highest product category with 122 events, up by 69.4% compared to Q2 2023.
In terms of notifications, the Netherlands recorded the most with 156. Germany was second with 146, the same number it had in Q2. Italy was third with 105 notifications. The UK submitted 29 notifications in Q3 2023, the same number it had in Q2 2023.
Quarter 2, 2023
Regulators in the EU and UK reported 1,181 food and drink product recalls in Q2 2023. The leading cause of recalls this quarter was “Contamination – Other” with 456 events, or 38.6% of all product recalls. The second leading concern was bacterial contamination, cited in 239 recalls. Of this concern, Salmonella was the most common risk with 160 product recalls, followed by Listeria with 39.
Fruits and vegetables was the product category with the most recalls with 206 events, followed by nuts, nut products, and seeds in second with 126. Germany had the most with 146. Belgium was second with 126 and the Netherlands was third with 105 notifications.
Quarter 1, 2023
Regulators in the EU and UK reported 1,154 food and drink product recalls in Q1 2023, up 2.9% compared to Q4 2022. The leading cause was ‘Contamination – Other’ with 486 events. The most common contaminant of concern was aflatoxins, linked to 89 product recalls.
Regulators are recalling food products containing cannabidiol (CBD). In Q3 2022, there were nine food recalls involving CBD. In Q4 2022, that number rose to 11, and this quarter there were 24, mostly classifying it as an unauthorised novel food.
Fruits and vegetables remained the product category with the most recalls, totalling 187 events in Q1 2023, a 12.0% rise from the previous quarter. Nuts, nut products, and seeds were the second-most impacted with 126 product recalls.
FOOD & DRINK REMEDIATION
Safeguarding consumer health remains paramount in every facet of food and drink product management.
While not every issue mandates a formal recall, swift and cautious action is indispensable in ensuring consumer safety.
When a product concern is detected, whether reported by a consumer or identified in the manufacturing facility, an immediate response becomes pivotal to protect both brand reputation and consumer well-being. We recognize the importance of vigilance in these situations. Our brand protection field team is capable of mobilizing within 24 hours to retrieve products from consumer homes and throughout the supply chain, submit them for testing and seamlessly facilitate replacement.
This proactive approach, although precautionary, is essential in preserving brand integrity, assuring consumer safety, and minimizing potential risks for food and drink manufacturers and grocers worldwide.
INDUSTRY-LEADING CALL CENTER SOLUTIONS
With Sedgwick Brand Protection, gain 24-7-365 access to a global team of brand ambassadors ready to field calls from concerned customers.
Our expertise extends beyond the handling and resolution of product recall inquiries, to encompass a wide range of business and drug related challenges – from market withdrawals, product safety alerts, corrective action programs, and much more. Since 1995 we have provided the food and drink industry with:
- Instant on-demand support that adds flexibility and agility to existing customer engagement infrastructures, alleviating pressure on resources as call volumes surge – ensuring vital day-to-day business operations are not compromised.
- Scalability in size and duration, from short-term engagements to long-term programs in response to one-time product recalls or persistent issues. Flexibility on-demand – simply dial up and down as required.
5M+ high-demand units recalled. 50K retail locations. 300 agent call center live. All in under 24 hours.
When handling high-profile celebrity endorsed products, effectiveness is paramount.
Download our Recall Index
Essential insight and analysis for mitigating product recall risk
SEDGWICK BRAND PROTECTION
The world's leading product recall company
For over 25 years, companies of all sizes and sectors have trusted our expertise in preparing for and managing their product-related challenges. Since 1995, we’ve successfully managed more than 7,000 of the most sensitive and time-critical product recall programs, spanning 100 countries and 50 languages.
Whether your in-house teams need scalability to maintain daily operations during a product crisis, or you require a complete end-to-end product recall solution, we have the experience to protect your brand and peace of mind.
If you’re currently facing a product recall, or seeking to enhance your recall readiness, contact us now.
Whether you’re planning for — or currently facing — a product recall, market withdrawal, or any other in-market product incident, our experts are on hand to support you.