- Organic food accounted for 7% of food recalled so far this year, which is an increase from comprising only 2% of food recalled in 2014, according to data from the FDA and USDA.
- All organic food recalls have been due to bacterial contamination, such as salmonella, listeria and hepatitis A, as opposed to label issues, according to Kevin Pollack, a vice president at Stericycle, which compiled the recall data.
- The Organic Trade Association found a different percentage, 4.9% of recalls, which the organization said is more on target with the percentage of organic food out of total food retail sales. The difference came when Stericycle counted a recall by food units, whereas the OTA would count, for example, the spinach recall, which included more than one brand, as one recall.
This statistic may be misleading. One explanation for the increase in recalls is that more organic food is present in the market now as compared to last year, so the increase in recalls is in the context of that growth. According to the USDA, the number of organic facilities in the U.S. grew 5% from last year and 250% since 2002. More food on the market means a more widespread risk that some of that organic food will be recalled.
If the rate of growth for organic product recalls is faster than the growth of the organic products, that could signal a problem for organic producers.