Egg and Beef Issues Highlight Jump in Food & Beverage Recall Activity in Q2 2018

Stericycle Expert Solutions' Q2 2018 U.S. Recall Index shows foodborne illnesses continue to plague the U.S. food supply chain.

INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 8, 2018 (PRNewswire) — With 2018 shaping up to be a serious year for foodborne illnesses,1 food recall activity by both the FDA and USDA saw significant increases in Q2 2018 due largely to bacterial contamination, undeclared allergens and foreign materials, according to the latest Recall Index released last week by Stericycle Expert Solutions. The Recall Index covers recalls in the food, pharmaceutical, automotive, medical device and consumer product industries.

Recalled FDA food units increased more than 20 times in the last quarter to nearly 213 million, mostly due to one large recall of salmonella-contaminated eggs that caused illnesses across the eastern seaboard and Colorado. The number of FDA food recalls increased seven percent over the previous quarter to 147, driven by undeclared allergens in foods (42.2 percent) and bacterial contamination (32 percent). 

Similarly, USDA recalled pounds of food increased 74 percent to more than 1.75 million. The surprise was beef, which was the top category for recalled USDA pounds for the second consecutive quarter, coming in at 44.2 percent. Prior to Q1 2018, beef had not been a top recall category for two years. The discovery of foreign materials was the top cause of USDA recalls (31 percent).

"Outbreaks of foodborne illness caused by bacteria and other contaminants are perennial news makers, but if the first half of the year is any indication, 2018 will be one of the more noteworthy years for food and beverage recalls," said Mike Good, vice president of Marketing & Sales Operations, Stericycle Expert Solutions. "There is no single cause we can point to. Whether it's better testing methods, fewer inspectors, flawed farming and production practices, or other causes, this news suggests we need to redouble efforts in protecting the nation's food supply chain." 

1 Publisher's Platform: 2018 has been a Big, Bad Year for U.S. Foodborne Illnesses, Food Safety News, July 22, 2018

About the Stericycle Recall Index

The Stericycle Recall Index is the only report that aggregates and tracks recall data to help manufacturers and other industry stakeholders navigate the regulatory environment and identify trends. Each quarter Stericycle analyzes data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the FDA, and the USDA. For more information, please visit

About Stericycle Expert Solutions

Stericycle Inc. is a NASDAQ-listed global business-to-business services company which provides highly specialized solutions to healthcare and commercial businesses of all sizes. Founded in 1989, Stericycle Inc. has grown to become a leader across a range of complex and highly regulated market sectors and operates in 550 locations. Stericycle Expert Solutions™ is the industry leader in managing automotive, consumer product, pharmaceutical, medical device, juvenile product, and food and beverage recalls. Expert Solutions streamlines the entire product recall process and manages Notification & Response, Processing & Tracking, and Compliance & Reporting for leading global companies. For more information, visit