Recall responsible: Undeclared milk tops list

Woman Reading Packet In SupermarketUndeclared allergens were once again the top reason for food recalls for the second quarter of 2015 (ended June 30), according to a report from Food Safety Magazine.  While undeclared peanut was the reason for the most undeclared allergen recalls in the first quarter of 2015, undeclared milk topped the charts and accounted for nearly 30% of all food recalls relating to undeclared food allergens for the second quarter of the year.

What’s interesting about the bulk of the milk allergen recalls is the type of products that were affected. As stated in the article, approximately 20% of milk allergens were found in beef products—beef jerky, blintzes (ethnic pancakes) and meatballs. Candy, gum and coconut milk powder were also common foods containing undeclared milk this quarter.

In total, 163 separate recalls were tallied, which is a 17% decrease compared to the previous quarter, however. Undeclared allergens by the numbers for the period of April 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015 are as follows:

  • Milk: 21
  • Eggs: 13
  • Soy: 11
  • Wheat: 9
  • Sulfites: 8
  • Peanut: 6
  • Mustard: 3
  • Cashew: 2
  • Fish: 2
  • Walnut: 2
  • Coconut: 1
  • Hazelnut: 1
  • Sunflower seeds: 1
  • Gluten: 1

In addition, the report also tracked food recalls due to foodborne pathogens, and included the following:

  • Listeria – 15% of recalls

The second most common culprit behind this quarter’s recalls was Listeria, which experienced a slight uptick versus last quarter’s 11%. The most common foods affected were chicken products, raw soybean and mung bean sprouts, ice cream and mushrooms.

  • Salmonella – 12% of recalls

There was a dip in the number of food recalls caused by Salmonella, which accounted for 14% of last quarter’s recalls. The bulk of these recalls were traced back to nuts. Although raw pine nuts, cashews and walnuts were all found to be sources of contamination, half of this quarter’s Salmonella recalls were traced back specifically to macadamia nuts.

  • E. coli – 4% of recalls

Out of six E.coli recalls, four of them were linked to beef. Last quarter, just two recalls were caused by E. coli contamination. The most publicized E. coli recall occurred recently when 14 generic bottled water brands were recalled due to the presence of the pathogen.

  • Staphylococcus – 4% of recalls

Staphylococcus recalls also grew in number from two last quarter to seven this time around. Five of the recalls were caused by Staphylococcus aureus and were linked to cheese and hummus.

  • Possible Foreign Matter Contamination – 4% of recalls

In the case of possible foreign matter contamination, these types of recalls—at least in Q2—always involved some variety of meat or poultry. Two beef recalls and one each for sausage, chicken and sweet potato baby food, and pork were all responsible for more than 152,000 pounds of recalls due to the presence of string, glass, plastic, and other “foreign materials,” the article states.

To read the full report, click here.

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