Nuts, nut products and seeds was the top food product category recalled in Europe, according to a second quarter index by Stericycle Expert Solutions.

The category, with 156 recalls, came ahead of fruits and vegetables with 118 recalls and fish and fish products with 81 recalls.  Nuts, nut products and seeds was also the top category in the first quarter with 24.9 percent (183) of recalls and notifications.

All food and beverage recalls and notifications, including feed and food contact materials, increased 15.8 percent to 945. This figure is the sixth highest of all time.  Such recalls and notifications had decreased to 816 in the first quarter, which was the lowest level since Q1 2017.

The food and beverage part of Stericycle’s European Recall and Notification Index is based on data from the EU’s RASFF rapid alert system.

Turkey was the top country of origin for food recalls and notifications for the third consecutive quarter with 74 such notices.

France was second with 55 recalls and notifications, India and China both had 46 while the United States had 43.

Brazil, which was third in the first quarter largely due to EU sanctions on meat, dropped out of the top five.

This was also seen as fish and fish products replaced poultry and poultry meat products in third position of the top food categories by number of recalls.

Bacterial contamination because of pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes was the top cause of food recalls for the sixth quarter in a row. Chemicals were second in the causes for recalls followed by aflatoxins.

Bacterial contamination was also the top cause of recalls of Food and Drug Administration-regulated foods in the United States.

More than 99 percent of the food units recalled in the second quarter were pulled because of pathogens. However, the majority of the 147 recalls under the FDA’s authority were caused by undeclared allergens. For foods regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the top reason for recalls was foreign material.

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