Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified reinsurance company Swiss Re's country of origin.
- The number and costs of food recalls in the U.S. have almost doubled since 2002, according to a report by reinsurance company Swiss Re, founded in Switzerland.
- "In more than half of those recalls, the process of recalling the food cost the affected company more than $10 million. Some companies lost more than $100 million in direct costs associated with the recalls," Food Safety News reported.
- The USDA reported that in 2013, the public cost of foodborne illness was $15.6 billion, and a significant portion of that cost was due to recalled foods.
The report offers a few explanations for the increase in recalls, including a slew of regulatory changes, and the increased globalization of the food supply chain. Globalization can have both positive and negative implications for the food supply chain. It could mean more opportunities for foods' exposure to pathogens in countries with more relaxed regulations on food safety, but it could also mean more opportunities to discover pathogens as well.
Also notable are the two massive chicken recalls from earlier this month from Aspen Foods and Barber Foods, which totaled 3.7 million pounds of recalled chicken. To put that in perspective, in 2014, recalled meat totaled 18.7 million pounds.