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A Busy Month for Food Product Recalls

October was a busy period for food product issues with eight recalls over the course of the month, as against a long-term average of about 35 per year (although it did hit 56 last year).  The products affected were:

  • Patchwork Pate – fifteen varieties of pâté
  • Milegate Ltd – Mystry Dried Pangash fish
  • Kopparberg – sparkling rose strawberry and sparkling rose raspberry cider
  • HiPP – Organic Fruity O’s breakfast cereal
  • Hilltop Honey – raw British creamed honey
  • Suma – canned organic sweetcorn
  • Biona – canned organic sweetcorn
  • A G Barr – Rubicon sparkling mango

The recalls were made for a wide variety of reasons including: chemical contamination, lack of manufacturing controls, metal contamination and yeast fermentation! Regardless of the specific trigger event, each of these incidents presents a significant risk of financial and reputational damage if not handled appropriately.  As well as the normal guidance on business continuity and crisis communications; the British Retail Consortium (www.brc.org.uk) includes a specific requirement to plan for product recalls and withdrawals in its certification scheme.