USA – The first quarter of 2024 saw a notable increase in U.S. product recalls, reflecting heightened regulatory oversight and increased consumer scrutiny.

According to Sedgwick brand protection’s latest U.S. Recall Index report, 909 recalls were reported across five key industries, marking the highest single-quarter total in over five years and an eight percent rise from the previous quarter.

Despite the recalls surge, the number of defective units fell significantly. The number of units impacted across all industries dropped by 44%, from 230.7 million in Q4 2023 to 129.6 million in Q1 2024. This contrast suggests that while more products were recalled, the overall scope of defects within those recalls was reduced.

Sedgwick’s Recall Index report comprehensively analyzes recall data, safety regulations, and industry challenges. It covers the automotive, consumer products, food and drink, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries.

The quarterly report includes expert analysis and insights from Sedgwick’s brand protection specialists and strategic partners.

FDA and USDA recall trends

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported a 27.6% increase in recalls, with 134 events in Q1 2024. This rise is among the highest recorded in the past five years, with undeclared allergens being the leading cause of food recalls, accounting for 51 incidents.

Conversely, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recalls decreased by 31.6% to 13 events, although the total weight of affected units increased by 22.1%, reaching 378,055 pounds in Q1 2024.

Regulatory developments and industry challenges

In 2024, the FDA, USDA, and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are implementing new measures to enhance consumer safety and ensure accurate food labeling.

These measures highlight the complex regulatory landscape and the numerous entities involved in maintaining food safety. Industry stakeholders must remain vigilant in monitoring regulatory activities and enforcement actions.

“Regulators have started off 2024 as expected, continuing the high rate of enforcement activity and introducing new regulations and rules to improve product safety amidst an ever-growing list of risks,” said Chris Harvey, Senior Vice President of Brand Protection for Sedgwick.

“As responsibilities increase for stakeholders at every level of the supply chain, ensuring compliance and maintaining product safety and quality assurance will require all parties to work together to weather the risks.”

The Sedgwick brand protection Recall Index, published quarterly, is the only report that consolidates and tracks recall data across multiple regulatory agencies and industries. It provides crucial insights for navigating the regulatory environment and managing in-market challenges.

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