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Sedgwick index reports on recent food and beverage recall trends


Sedgwick is a global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits, and integrated business solutions with more than 30,000 employees across 80 countries. It reports quarterly on everything recalled around the world.

The Sedgwick recall indexes are lengthy, colorful, and very comprehensive. Automotive, consumer products, medical devices, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage recalls are all included in the quarterly Sedgwick indexes.

The Sedgwick index includes food and beverage recalls by the U.S. Food and Drug and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Mandatory recalls are rare, but both the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the FDA recalls for the businesses under their regulation are logged.

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

For USDA-regulated establishments, total recalls were up 62.5 percent in 2022’s second quarter, up from eight in the previous period to 13. Sedgwick also tracks the number of “units” recalled and reports that USDA-regulated businesses recalled 973,374 pounds of meat during the period, a 1,391.3 percent increase.

USDA recalls were for no inspections, bacterial contamination, foreign materials, under-cooking, and undeclared allergens.

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

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

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

Although the overall number of recalls went up in the food industry from the first quarter of 2022, there was a significant drop in the number of impacted units, the new data from the recently released Sedgwick Brand Protection Q2 2022 recall index reveals.

Sedgwick predicts that combining operational difficulties and abrasive safety regulators will undoubtedly result in more recalls and enforcement actions across industries as 2022 finishes up. 

Overall, recalls surpassed 1 billion products this year for only the third year on record, and it expects that 2022 will be a record-setting year for recalled products. 

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

Sedgwick also commented on the controversial recall and shortage of infant formula. It reports that during the week of July 3, the out-of-stock rate for powdered infant formula was more than 30 percent, while the regular rate is 10 percent.

According to some reports, the dire infant formula shortage was underway by February and maybe earlier. No one has made a solid prediction about when the need will end.

Other trends mentioned by Sedgwick in their current index are litigation involving bioengineered food, new food supplier verification regulations, and changes in dietary supplements.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)



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