Food Recalls in 2021 – Highlights and Predictions for 2022

RQA Group continually tracks recall numbers globally throughout the year with a specific focus on USDA, US FDA, UK FSA, RASFF and Product Safety Australia.

Below we have summarised the recall numbers for 2021 and made predictions for 2022:

  • USDA FSIS recalls (Class I, II or III) were higher in 2021 than in 2020 but still much less than half the number recorded pre-pandemic.  There is currently no sign that the recall numbers will be back at 2019 levels in the coming year.
  • US FDA recall events were higher in 2021 than in 2020. Whilst still on the low side, the number of recall events is closer to pre-pandemic trend of reducing recall numbers and we may expect a similar number in 2022.
  • UK Food Standards Agency recall alerts were marginally lower in 2021 than in 2020, suggesting a “baseline” level may have been reached.  Recall alerts in 2022 may be on a similar scale.
  • European RASFF notifications for food were the highest ever in 2021 with the possibility that they could be even higher in 2022.
  • Product Safety Australia reported fewer food and grocery recalls in 2021 than in 2020, and very similar to 2019. Recall numbers in Australia appeared largely unaffected by the pandemic in 2020 and were in fact higher than usual.  Perhaps the 2021 recalls numbers suggest the levels are back to normal and 2022 may be similar to 2021.

Below you will see the graphs for each reporting authority and our summary of recall numbers from 2017 – 2021.

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