The US Department of Agriculture recently announced that over 18,675,102 pounds of meat (that’s over 8 million kilograms!) were recalled across the US in 2014 due to food safety issues.
The biggest single issue causing recalls was undeclared allergens accounting for around a third of all recalled products. Considering the pathogen statistics, it’s shown that almost a million kilograms of meat products were recalled due to E. Coli and a further 300,000 kilograms were recalled due to Salmonella or Listeria scares.
Beef was the biggest offender and accounted for around 75% of all meat recalls, with the remainder of recalls attributed to poultry (including egg products), pork, ovine and mixed meat products. Almost two thirds of the meat recalled was classified as Class I, meaning that the recall was attributed to a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable probability that eating the food will cause health problems or death.
The biggest recalls linked to specific products were for cheeseburger Mac products and for Pretzel dog products, both recalled due to undeclared allergens. The biggest recall attributable to pathogens was for ground beef products – in May, over 800,000 kilograms of ground beef products were recalled due to the presence of E. coli O157: H7.
And if you’re planning a trip to the US anytime soon, March may be the best month. In March 2014 there was only one meat recall compared to between 6 and 9 recalls for most other months. You may wish to reconsider any visits planned for October and December though – both of these months racked up a whopping 12 meat recalls each.
To read more and see the full report visit the USDA website.