Report: Recalls of UK meat at highest since 2002

eb527864-6c3c-4641-9e85-a96bd948d935articleimage.jpg

09 Aug 2017 --- According to a report from Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS, recalls of chicken and other poultry meats are at their highest level since 2002. It has also been revealed that chicken has overtaken red meat as the most popular meat to be consumed in the UK. 

With traditional “meat and two vegetable” meals, based on red meat, falling out of fashion and more people dining alone, the versatility of fresh poultry has seen sales soar in recent years. However, the recall report published today shows that, of those poultry products that have been recalled, as many as 9 out of 10 may contain dangerous and potentially deadly bacteria. 

The rise in poultry recalls is directly linked to the recent curtailing by the EU of meat imports from Brazil after exporters allegedly bribed inspectors to overlook practices including the processing of rotten meat, shipping product with Salmonella traces, and failing to carry out inspections. 

The Stericycle Q2 2017 Recall and Notification Index reveals that there were 223 recalls of poultry products last quarter, with bacterial contamination behind more than 93 percent of unsafe poultry meat withdrawals. Salmonella was mainly responsible for poultry contamination, and this can lead to serious health risks particularly among pregnant women, infants and the elderly. Amongst other food recalls, aflatoxins play a significant role and can affect the liver, causing acute toxicity. This can occur in food products such as nuts originating in hot, humid countries.

The poultry issue was the driving force behind an unprecedented rise in the food and beverages recall category as figures indicate food recalls have reached the third highest total since 1999. The higher-than-average volume calculates to nearly 10 food recalls every day with a total of 959 notifications in Q2, an increase of 24 percent on the previous quarter. 

The Stericycle report indicates that 66.5 percent of food recalls originated in non-EU countries, with Brazil being the major exporter during the second quarter. Other exporters included India with 68 recalls Turkey with 60 and China with 51. Spain was the only European country in the top 5, with 70 recalls. 

Farzad Henareh, European Vice President at Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS, said: “The ongoing investigation of food inspection practices in Brazil continues to have a serious knock-on effect on EU imports. However, recalls relating to food originating from other countries indicates that the industry still needs to employ the most rigorous approach to food safety, and the risks remain high. Adherence to the strict regulatory standards in the EU is an absolute must.”

Henareh spoke to FoodIngredientsFirst: “An increase in food recalls isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This shows that the relevant regulatory food agencies and manufacturers are actually being proactive and that there are safety mechanisms in place to respond to unsafe food products entering our markets.” 

“However any kind of response must be accurate and absolutely swift to prevent dangerous or contaminated food getting into the processing industry and mainstream consumer market,” he explains. 

“EU authorities and individual food agencies such as FSA in the UK, have made a lot of progress over the years around protecting consumers and ensuring food safety across Europe. The industry, however, is very complex and has a long way to go, especially in the fields of product traceability through the supply chain and dealing with recalls on operational and communication levels.” 

“In today’s global food supply industry it’s inevitable that recalls will take place. That’s why we would like to stress the importance of having a “recall plan” and that manufacturers can receive third party assistance to help them deal with recalls as they happen, and avoid brand damage or negative impact on customers,” he notes.

By Elizabeth Green

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Business News

Rethinking seafood: “Cellular aquaculture” pioneers BlueNalu raise US$4.5m

17 Aug 2018 --- As cultured meat continues to attract attention from global investors, manufacturers and start-ups, a US firm is pioneering a technique of producing real seafood products directly from fish cells. The technology is tipped to be a disruptive game-changer to current industry practices. Just two months after the launch of the company, BluNalu, a trailblazer in the field of “cellular aquaculture,” has announced the closing of a US$4.5 million seed round.

Food Ingredients News

Natural preservative breakthrough: Flavonoids produced from yeast hold vast potential, claim NTU researchers

16 Aug 2018 --- Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) scientists have discovered a plant-based food preservative that is said to be more effective than artificial preservatives. In tests carried out on meat and fruit juice samples, the organic preservative kept its samples fresh for two days without refrigeration, compared to commercial-grade artificial food preservatives.

Food Ingredients News

Upcycling sunflower seeds: Ingredient innovator, Planetarians targets the plant protein landscape

15 Aug 2018 --- Shifting consumer preferences for healthier choices are driving the demand for plant-based proteins, which are growing at a rapid rate. The plant-based food market is growing at double-digit rates and expected to reach US$5.2 billion worldwide by 2020, according to Nestlé and rising prices for plant-based proteins are forcing food manufacturers to identify opportunities and sustainable ingredients to address this consumer demand. That focus has created a robust marketplace for functional, and value-added components, including that of sunflower seeds, according to Planetarians, an ingredient company who claim to be “revolutionizing the plant-protein landscape through upcycling defatted seeds.”

Packaging & Technology News

Penalty! Unrecyclable plastic faces 10 percent tax increase in France

15 Aug 2018 --- A French Environment Ministry official has unveiled plans to introduce a penalty system for consumer goods packaged in unrecyclable plastic. Speaking with French newspaper Journal du Dimanche, Brune Poirson, Secretary of State for Ecological Transition, said that from 2019 products sold in unrecyclable plastic packaging would cost up to 10 percent more. Meanwhile, plastic packaging which is recyclable could cost up to 10 percent less. The introduction of the penalty system is designed to help transition France to a 100 percent plastic recyclable society by 2025.

Food Ingredients News

The flavors shake-up: Ethnic, rich and authentic options pushed to the fore

14 Aug 2018 --- The last few months have seen a real shake-up in the flavors space with International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) beginning a new chapter with the combination of Frutarom. The news came as Swiss-headquartered market leader Givaudan completed the acquisition of 40.5 percent of the shares of Naturex for €135 per share, with plans underway to take complete control of the natural ingredients supplier. The acquisition of such a significant shareholding in Naturex fits with Givaudan’s 2020 strategy to expand its offering to deliver natural products to customers.

More Articles