'Undeclared allergens' top reason for recalls

Food Recalls causes ExpertRECALL chart

The majority of recalls in the U.S. in the most recent quarter were for "undeclared food allergens," according to Stericycle ExpertRECALL, a recall management firm.

During the second quarter of 2013, they say, 65 percent of recalls in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's jurisdiction and 60 percent of those in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's jurisdiction were for undeclared allergens.

This statistic is up from just 34 percent of the FDA recalls in the first quarter. Stericycle says that undeclared allergens have been a consistent top trend in USDA and FDA recalls for several quarters now.

Why the increase?

Part of the uptick in allergen-related recalls can be attributed to more robust inspections as the USDA prioritized allergens and labeling in the past year.

"Allergens continue to be a top recall trend that we see quarter over quarter," said Mike Rozembajgier, vice president of Stericycle ExpertRECALL. "Manufacturers should make sure that they are reviewing labels and formulations related to a company’s Allergen Control Program before an inspector arrives on-site."

Most recalled food products were considered Class I, the most dangerous to consumers in USDA and FDA classifications.

The full ExpertRECALL Index report can be read here.

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