Outbreak and Recall Round Up - June 2022

In this month's outbreak and recall round up, we will start by taking a look at current FDA investigations of foodborne illness outbreaks. Since the beginning of the year, the FDA investigated 11 outbreaks with 6 of them still active.

The largest investigation is linked to peanut butter for which 16 total case count were reported, leading to 2 hospitalizations. This outbreak is linked to J.M Smucker who recalled approximately 50 different types and sizes of product. But the list of affected products is much larger than that since other companies use the recalled peanut butter to make chocolate products, sandwiches, snack packs, fudge, dog treats and more.

In 2009, Peanut Corp of America (PCA) initiated a recall of their peanut butter products after they were linked to an outbreak caused by Salmonella Typhimurium. This recall became the most expensive food recall in US history and resulted in nearly 4,000 downstream products being recalled by 361 companies.

The table below recaps all investigations in 2022 (last date accessed 2022-06-13; source: FDA)

Investigations June 2022

US recalls

In May, the US database reported 33 recalls, more than half of them were related to biological hazards with 17 linked to Salmonella and 1 linked to Listeria. Most of the Salmonella recalls are part of the current outbreak in peanut butter products from J.M. Smucker. 

All of the 12 recalls due to chemical contamination are related to undeclared allergens. The recalls involved several brand names and companies.

EU Recalls

In May, 333 notifications were reported for food products. The top 4 categories that account for more than half of the notifications were: fruits and vegetables (19%), nuts, nut products and seeds (14%), cereals and bakery products (10%) and herbs and spices (10%).

May - EU notifications per category

60% of the 333 notifications were associated with chemical hazards. 

EU May notifications per category

The main chemical hazards, representing nearly 1/3 of the notifications, are pesticides, mainly in fruits and vegetables (70%), followed by mycotoxins, mainly in nuts, not products and seeds (58%).

EU May chemical hazards

Salmonella et Listeria contaminations represented over 80% of notifications linked to biological hazards. 

EU May Bilogical hazards

Month by Month Evolution

To finish this month's outbreak and recall round up, let's have a look at the evolution month by month of the total number of recalls for the US and EU, and by hazard type. 

MAy month by month evolution-1

May month by month evolution per hazard

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