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Safety / Consumers / Traceability

5 Common Food Recalls Facing Brands

They’re the type of recalls that tend to make the biggest splash in the news. They send consumers running to their pantries or refrigerators to check dates and leave other brands of consumer packaged goods asking themselves, “What if this happened to us?”

That’s why it’s more important than ever for food brands to stay aware of potential contaminators and have a food recall protocol in place. To start, here are five common food recalls among food brands.

1. Listeria

The risk of a listeria contamination is what led Sabra to recall 30,000 cases of classic hummus last spring. Listeria recalls also tend to be common among frozen foods, with a widespread recall of frozen fruits and vegetables occurring just a few months ago. Though a listeria infection is rarely fatal in healthy adults, it can be very dangerous—and even deadly—to young children, pregnant women and older adults.

2. Salmonella

Though typically associated with raw meats—particularly chicken—salmonella is a threat to CPG brands, too. In fact, the FDA has paid special attention to the spice indutry due to widespread salmonella concerns. Similar to listeria, salmonella is most dangerous to vulnerable consumers, like children, pregnant women and the elderly.

3. E. coli

Earlier this month, General Mills recalled 10 million pounds of flour that could potentially be linked to an E. coli outbreak, and the recalls continue to be announced as a result of this issue. Contracting E. coli has similar symptoms as listeria and salmonella—and is especially dangerous to those who already have a compromised immune system.

4. Undeclared Allergens

Food allergies can be incredibly dangerous to affected consumers, and it is the responsibility of brands to label their products accordingly. Not doing so could lead to a substantial recall, even if the presence of the undeclared allergen is minimal. This was the case with Kellogg’s recent voluntary recallof Keebler, Famous Amos and Special K products after it was discovered they may contain small amounts of peanut residue.

5. Foreign Objects

While it may not be related to an allergic reaction or bacterial contamination, foreign objects in food products can still be quite dangerous. For instance, Kraft Foods recalled 6.5 million boxes of macaroni and cheese last year after small pieces of metal were found in eight boxes. A foreign object recall can often be the most difficult to trace, especially because they often occur as the result of human error within a manufacturing facility.

Luckily, there is a way to reduce your brand’s overall recall risk: traceability. Food supply chain traceability makes it easier for companies to tackle the recall process and minimize the damage, should an outbreak happen—but the benefits of traceability don’t stop there. Traceability also plays a crucial role in establishing trust with your customer base by promising transparency, reliability and credibility.

Threats of salmonella and listeria can be a food brand’s worst nightmare, but with food supply chain traceability software, you and your recall team can address these issues quicker and more effectively. 

Preparation is the key to handling a recall effectively and minimizing damage. Get proactive with our free guide, The Food Safety Professional’s Recall Checklist.

Posted by Katy Jones on Aug 3, 2016 9:07:14 PM

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