Sedgwick Index reports on recent trends in food and beverage recalls

Sedgwick is a global provider of integrated risk, benefits and business technology solutions with more than 30,000 employees in 80 countries. It reports quarterly on everything recalled worldwide.

The Sedgwick recall indexes are long, colorful and very comprehensive. Recalls of automobiles, consumer products, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverages are all included in the quarterly Sedgwick indices.

The Sedgwick Index includes food and beverage recalls by the US Food and Drug and the US Department of Agriculture. Mandatory recalls are rare, but the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and FDA recalls for businesses subject to their regulation are on record.

According to Sedgwick, the number of FDA recalls increased 9.1% during the second quarter, which ended June 30. The increase in recall to 120 reflects an increase from 110 events in the first quarter.

For USDA-regulated establishments, the total number of recalls increased by 62.5% in the second quarter of 2022, from eight in the prior period to 13 during the period, an increase of 1,391.3% .

The USDA recalls were for lack of inspections, bacterial contamination, foreign matter, undercooking, and undeclared allergens.

Two recalls totaling 615,315 pounds were caused by undercooking and involved chicken breasts from the same manufacturer. This undercooking was responsible for the highest number of books recalled during the period.

No pork was recalled during the first quarter, but there were five recalls involving pork during the second quarter.

All of the USDA recalls were Class 1 events, meaning human health was at risk. The quarter also saw three poultry recalls, one for seafood and several types of meat.

Although the overall number of recalls has increased in the food industry from the first quarter of 2022, there has been a significant drop in the number of units affected, new data from the recent release Sedgwick Brand Protection Q2 2022 Recall Index revaux.

Sedgwick predicts that the combination of operational difficulties and abrasive safety regulators will undoubtedly lead to more recalls and enforcement actions across all sectors by the end of 2022.

Overall recalls exceeded one billion products this year for only the third year, and he expects 2022 to be a record year for recalled products.

“Regulators and lawmakers have increased their scrutiny of every industry, introduced new guidelines and rules, and started publicly calling out companies they believe are non-compliant,” said Chris Harvey, senior vice president at Sedgwick. “Add to the mix current geopolitical issues and ongoing public health crises, and businesses face new risks that are increasingly difficult to manage.”

Sedgwick also commented on the controversial infant formula recall and shortage. He reports that during the week of July 3, the stock-out rate for powdered infant formula was over 30%, while the normal rate is 10%.

According to some reports, the severe shortage of infant formula was underway in February and possibly earlier. No one has made a solid prediction about when the need will end.

Other trends mentioned by Sedgwick in its current index are litigation involving foods derived from biotechnology, new regulations on verification of food suppliers and changes in dietary supplements.

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