Breaking News on Food Safety & Quality Control

News > Industry news

Read more breaking news



Brazilian meat checks drive European F&B alerts

Post a comment

By Joe Whitworth+

Last updated on 22-Aug-2017 at 10:31 GMT2017-08-22T10:31:20Z

Brazil was top country of origin for recalls and notifications. Picture: ©iStock/MiroNovak
Brazil was top country of origin for recalls and notifications. Picture: ©iStock/MiroNovak

Contaminated meat from Brazil was the driving force behind a rise in food and beverage notifications during Q2 2017, according to Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS.

The Stericycle Recall and Notification Index revealed there were 223 alerts in Europe regarding poultry products, with bacterial contamination behind more than 93% of them.

The majority were rejected at the border and products were not placed on the market.  

Salmonella was mainly responsible for contamination but the serotype was often not revealed.

Total recalls and notifications increased 24% to 959 – the third highest total since 1999.

In July, the European Commission said of 5,972 consignments examined since 20 March, including 1,566 lab checks there have been 176 rejections: 133 for Salmonella on poultry meat, five for STEC on beef, two for drug residues on horse meat and 36 for other reasons.

Additional measures and reinforced checks at EU borders involve 100% physical and 20% microbiological checks.

Scrutiny of Brazilian meat

Countries stepped up scrutiny of Brazilian meat imports after an investigation uncovered a bribe payment scheme involving businesses and government inspectors who issued health certificates for food unsuitable to eat earlier this year.

Farzad Henareh, European VP at Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS, said the investigation of inspection practices in Brazil has had a ‘serious knock-on effect’ for EU imports.

“However, recalls relating to food originating from other countries indicates that the industry still needs to employ the most rigorous approach to food safety, and the risks remain high,” he said.

“It is a complex supply chain and food traceability is a big challenge to effectively trace all products. We expect notifications to continue with products from certain lots blocked at the border consumers are not too concerned.

“There are a lot of imported vegetables, nuts and seeds from Turkey. The meat scandal will phase out and it will not be surprising if Turkey is back in [the list of recalls by country of origin], if Turkey stays out it will be interesting to look into to understand the reasons why.”

The index is based on data from the EU’s RASFF alert system.

Nut and fish notifications

The top category was poultry meat and such products (223 alerts) - the first time it has ranked in the top three since 2002. Second was fish and fish products (132) and nuts, nut products, seeds (112) in third.

Bacterial contamination (312) was the top cause of alerts for the second quarter in a row, followed by aflatoxin (107) and chemicals (93).

The top country of origin was Brazil (184), with 114 more recalls and notifications than the second highest country (Spain with 70).

The Stericycle report indicates that 66.5% of recalls originated in non-EU countries, with Brazil being the major exporter during the second quarter.

Other exporters included India with 68 recalls, Turkey with 60 and China with 51. Spain was the only European country in the top five, with 70 recalls.

The top notifying countries were the Netherlands, Italy and the UK, accounting for 41.7% of recalls and notifications.

Henareh said despite increasingly strict regulations and efforts to safeguard against potentially harmful products, every industry will encounter problems.

“Our Q2 recall index clearly shows it makes business sense to maintain risk assessments and seek out stable recall programmes in order to ensure consumer safety and avoid business disruption,” he said.

“One thing skewing numbers and to keep an eye on is the change in the supply chain with the acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon and innovation in the sector.

“Shifting to online sales changes the supply chain. The point of sale is changing, groceries are purchased by consumers online, and the risk to market products is changing. In EU countries home delivery is picking up significantly, US numbers shift more rapidly but the EU is quite close.”

Post a comment

Comment title *
Your comment *
Your name *
Your email *

We will not publish your email on the site

I agree to Terms and Conditions

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.

Related products

Related suppliers

Key Industry Events


Access all events listing

Our events, Shows & Conferences...

Promotional Features