Report notes rising food recall rates

by Eric Schroeder
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INDIANAPOLIS — Food recalls in the United States increased during the second quarter of 2011, according to Stericycle ExpertRECALL, which aggregates and tracks cumulative recall data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration.

Stericycle’s report found undeclared allergens or other allergen concerns were the primary cause of recalls during the second quarter, accounting for more than 45% of food recalls initiated. This was up 25% from the first quarter of 2011. Additionally, recalls initiated because of undeclared allergens hit a five quarter high.

The high number of recalls caused by allergen concerns exceeded the total number of recalls due to salmonella, botulism, E. coli and listeria combined, the report noted. Salmonella, which was the second leading cause of recalls during the quarter, accounted for less than 25% of the total.

During the second quarter of 2011, Stericycle noted that F.D.A. enforcement reports documented 146 food recalls initiated by more than 130 companies and affecting nearly six million units. The number of food recalls documented in enforcement reports during the period was the largest in the past three quarters.

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