Raw Chicken

For the second quarter in a row, chicken and other poultry meats accounted for more recalls in Europe than any other food category.

There were 137 poultry recalls between July and September, down from 223 recalls during Q2, according to the latest Recall and Notification Index report by Stericycle ExpertSolutions.

Some 75 poultry recalls came from Brazil, with the country having exported more chicken than ever during August.

There were 19 instances of poultry being recalled in the UK, 18 of which were rejected at a UK border entry point. Five of the products involved in these 19 instances contained illegal imports where they have been manufactured by third party countries which not been approved for supplying certain ingredients.

For the third consecutive quarter, the main reason for food recalls was due to the risk of bacterial contamination, which was behind 226 of the 866 food recalls logged.

Stericycle also found that chemicals, which can range from pesticides through to contaminants from plastic packaging, was the second highest cause of food recalls. The recall index is compiled from data published under the EU’s RAPEX and RASFF rapid alert systems.

“We can clearly see that measures taken in Brazil at the beginning of the quarter have helped to reduce the number of recalls and notifications relating to Brazilian poultry exports by quite a margin,” said Stericycle European vice president Farzad Henareh.

“However, an incident of this nature only reinforces the importance of very high food standards and rigorous legislation. Given that there are many hazards around food production and manufacture, we would encourage the industry to get a robust recall plan in place and be prepared.”