US Food Recalls Up, Consumer Product Recalls Down, Report Shows

Indianapolis: Food recalls in the United States increased during the second quarter of the year, while consumer-product recalls were down during the same period, according to the quarterly ExpertRECALL Index that was released.

Undeclared allergens were the most common cause of food recalls during the quarter, accounting for more than 45 percent of all food recalls. The number of recalls initiated because of undeclared allergens exceeded the total number of recalls for the pathogens Salmonella, Botulism and Listeria combined. Salmonella was the second leading cause of food recalls during the quarter.

Laceration risks were the leading cause of product recalls regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Recalls of sports and recreational equipment increased for the third straight quarter, accounting for more than 20 percent of all CPSC recalls.

The ExpertRECALL Index is the only report that aggregates and tracks cumulative recall data from the CPSC and the Food and Drug Administration. Information is compiled quarterly.

"While we don't see increased recall activity in every category, we can expect regulatory agencies to continue to beef up their oversight of both manufacturers and retailers, resulting in more recalls for the remainder of the year," says Mike Rozembajgier, vice president of recalls for Stericycle ExpertRECALL. "Manufacturers and distributors need to keep a close eye on their regulatory agencies, as well as industry critics and consumer safety advocates because their persistence has often influenced government oversight, leading to more recalls."

Highlights of the ExpertRECALL Index include:

  • FDA enforcement reports documented 97 pharmaceutical recalls during the second quarter of 2011, a five-quarter high for the category.
  • According to FDA enforcement reports, medical device recalls in the second quarter 2011 were down 27 percent compared with the first quarter.
  • Children's and infant products recalled during the second quarter caused 65 reported injuries.

Stericycle ExpertRECALL compiles the ExpertRECALL Index from data issued by the US Food and Drug Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The complete ExpertRECALL Index report is available online at