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2016 Food Recalls

Food Safety / Traceability / Food Recalls

2016 Recall Recap: Why Food Recall Software is Necessary

In 2016, Food Safety Magazine tracked 764 total food recalls - a 22 percent surge in comparison to their same tracking in 2015. As the FDA begins to flex its muscles with the Food Safety Modernization Act and consumers are more watchful than ever before, managing food recall risk is critical for your brand.

Who are the culprits?

Food Safety Magazine's tracking concluded that the main culprits were undeclared allergens and Listeria contamination. Both allergens and Listeria saw increases in the number of recalls they caused from 2015 to 2016.

How was this calculated? Food Safety Magazine used notices issues by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Undeclared allergens

Food allergies can be incredibly dangerous to affected consumers, and it is the responsibility of brands to label their products accurately. Even trace amounts of undeclared allergens can lead to big recalls for companies. What are the problem allergens? You can probably guess:

2016 Undeclared Allergen Recalls

Image courtesy Food Safety Magazine

Unsurprisingly, the biggest offenders were milk, eggs, peanuts and wheat.

Food supply chain traceability makes it easier for your brand to tackle the food recall process and minimize the damage if an outbreak occurs. Using root-cause analysis with lot-level traceability, your company can identify the offending product, analyze which locations have received the product and direct those locations to take the product off the shelves - all from a single platform.

It’s good to have a quick response and be ready to pull food in the unfortunate instance that there are food safety issues, but it’s just as important to reduce those instances before they happen. We sat down with Dr. Kaitlin Wowak of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business to discuss the issue of bad product in supply chains.

If you'd like to learn more about how you can go from reactive to proactive in your food safety efforts, we've created a free recall checklist for your food recall team:



Listeria is a never-ending headache for the food industry. Brands that issued recalls around Listeria in 2016 include Publix, Kroger, Kashi, Hershey, General Mills, Quaker - and those are just the major brands! Nuts and grains were big vectors, as were frozen fruits and vegetables.

2016 Listeria RecallsImage courtesy Food Safety Magazine

Listeria infections are rarely deadly for healthy adults, but children and those with compromised immune systems are at serious risk.

As an example of how disruptive Listeria can be, Dole Fresh Vegetables voluntarily suspended operations at its Springfield, Ohio facility and withdrew private label packaged salads from shelves due to risks of contamination. With the average cost of a food recall close to $10 million, shutting down a facility would be even more disruptive financially.

Even when companies issue recalls, sometimes they hurt themselves. From Dr. Wowak of Notre Dame:

“We talked to companies who, when faced with a recall, pulled product out of their supply chain and only 50 percent of that product was actually tainted. The other 50 percent was perfectly fine. That gets really expensive for the company, not to mention contributing to the mounting issue of food waste. But they don’t have a choice without the visibility that end-to-end traceability allows.”

Try Foodlogiq Connect

With FoodLogiQ Connect, your company can closely and accurately monitor the movement of food across your supply chain to proactively reduce instances of undeclared allergens and contaminants. Our recall software was named to Food Logistics’ 2016 FL100+ Top Software and Technology Providers list for its ease of use and ability to provide transparency into your supply chain. 

Try Your Free Demo

Posted by Katy Jones on Feb 14, 2017 2:49:16 PM

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