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Food Recalls Up 93% Since 2012

Paul Woodward
Senior Director, Retail Supply Chain Business

Brand Compliance Market Flash for Feb. & March 2018

In this period’s Oracle Retail Brand Compliance Market Flash report, for February and March 2018, there was a 5% increase in the number of food recalls. During this time, 84 food recalls were reported throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Overall, there were 32 less recalls than the same timeframe in 2017. During this February and March period, there was an even 50/50 split of contamination recalls to mislabeling ones, with one miscellaneous recall noted. In terms of the types of recalls reported, contamination incidents were up 11% from last period.

In the last period’s Market Flash Report, the U.S. took up 41% of the total recalls, but that has jumped up to 58% of the total number of recalls for February and March. Canada reported 27% of this period’s recalls, while the UK had the remaining 14% - where it reported six times more labeling recalls than in the last two-month period.

Food recalls are on a steep rise, according to Food Safety Tech, food recalls overall are up 93% since 2012, and bacterial contamination and undeclared allergens are the leading cause. It’s believed that automation in food production and technological advances in food testing are contributing to this alarming rise. Also noted is that about 50% of the USDA’s recalled food has been a result of poor inspections, which can easily be improved.

Prop 65 and FSMA Headlines

Moving on to other pressing matters, many businesses are busy preparing for new Proposition 65 (Prop 65) regulations that go into effect in August. The National Law Review warns that there is now less than 6 months left to get ready. Prop 65 requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about exposure to a list of around 900 chemicals that have been known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. This list is updated at least once a year and was first published in 1987. The regulation was first known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.

Many businesses have already started to change their operations to comply with the new Prop 65 requirements, which for example addresses the specific language used for warnings on labels and shelf signage. Businesses may need to create new product packaging and shelf tags to include the new safe harbor warnings on them and re-test products to confirm they are free of the chemicals regulated under Prop 65. The penalty for violating Prop 65, by failing to provide sufficient warnings, can be as high as $2,500 per violation per day.

The FDA is also busy at work on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which will shift the American food safety system’s focus on preventing foodborne illness, which kills 3,000 and hospitalizes 128,000 people in the U.S. a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Congress enacted FSMA in response to changes in the global food supply chain system. In addition, when these rules are followed properly, food contaminations can be avoided.

Oracle Retail Brand Compliance offers an end to end compliance lifecycle management solution to enable customers to meet the FSMA and Prop 65 requirements. It includes a collaborative workflow driven working environment between the Brand Owner and their domestic and foreign suppliers, enabling the capture of a permanent and searchable record of all compliance activities and data.

Brand Compliance Management Cloud Service v17.0              

Oracle Retail Brand Compliance Management Cloud Service v17.0 is now available enabling businesses to react faster to changing legislation and requirements to avoid violation and related penalties. V17.0 includes:

  • New Data Privacy API to help Brand Owners to meet data privacy requests
  • Enhancements to the Product Specification module:
    • Dietary & Allergy Dependent Claims Validation
    • CNF Specification Countries of Origin
    • Finished Product Standards - Default Physical and Chemical Standards
    • Product Record Permissions for Suppliers
    • Specification Allergen Override Validation

If you are interested in learning more please contact Jonathan Pickles.

Food Legislation & Private Label News

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