Never Events – The Recall Stats

Following our Never Events article in June 2019, we have been monitoring recalls in the UK, US and Australia.  In the period 1 June to 31 July, there were 20 Never Event recalls notified by the USFDA.  This is 26% of all recalls notified by the FDA in that period.  For the UK, there were 5 Never Event recalls, representing 18% of recalls notified by the UK Food Standards Agency in June and July.  Product Safety Australia reported 19 food recalls between June and July, at least 3 were Never Events, but there may be more as it is not always possible to determine the exact cause of the recall from the Australian recall web site.

Applying the approach used in the health service, RQA has defined this definition for Never Events for the food industry:

  • They are wholly preventable
  • Each “Never Event” type has the potential to cause serious patient harm or death
  • The category of “Never Event” has occurred in the past… and a risk of recurrence remains
  • Occurrence of the “Never Event” is easily recognised and clearly defined and identified

RQA would class each of the causes of recall below as Never Events

  • Putting the product in the wrong packaging
  • Using a label that includes erroneous information. E.g. The product contains peanut, but this is not stated correctly on the label (not cross contamination – see side box)
  • Foreign material, specifically metal pieces (e.g. filings from machinery) in finished product
  • Unauthorised release of quarantined products

Action can be taken to prevent these Never Event product recalls, read the full article for more details or contact us to find out how we can help you with our Plan | Train | Test approach to product recall management.

Take our quick and simple to complete, Recall Readiness Assessment to find out how recall ready you are.