The numbers of recorded recalls of food products contaminated with pieces of plastic or rubber have more than doubled in North America and the EU in the past 12 months,according to a Detectamet release. While this could be a reflection of the increased levels of food safety monitoring rather than increasing food processing errors, even the longer established UK data sources indicate an increase of more than 33%.
The leading product sector in total continues to be chicken products with 19% of the total followed by dairy (17%), bakery (15%) and vegetables and salads (13%).
“Since opening our business last year in Richmond, Va., we have seen a growing awareness of the risks of product recall from plastic contamination,” said Detectamet President Angela Musson-Smith. “The introduction of the new Food Safety Modernization Act in the USA has delivered a sea change in the way the industry and regulatory authorities observe record and react to protect public from unsafe food."
The U.S. food industries experience similar patterns of recall to their European counterparts. The producers of chicken products and the bakery industries experience plastic contamination recalls more often. In fact, together they constitute over 60% of all U..S food recalls because of plastic contamination.
It has been estimated that the products involved in the U.S. recalls were worth over $15 million without including the costs of shipping and the financial impact on brand credibility. Feedback from the EU indicates that future areas at risk could include the dairy industry, fruit and vegetables and flour and cereals.