More than 2,000 consumer product recalls were issued in France in 2023, according to official figures.

Data from RappelConso shows 2,023 recalls in 2023 compared to 2,441 in 2022.

The category with the most recalls – 601 – was meats, followed by 371 milk and dairy product recalls and 189 fishery product recalls.

Overall, the top cause of alerts was potential Listeria contamination with almost 700 recalls due to this problem.

Products with most recalls
In the meats category, 312 recalls mentioned Listeria, and 160 were because of Salmonella. Other reasons included foreign bodies, Clostridium botulinum, labeling errors, E. coli, veterinary drug residues, undeclared allergens, manufacturing or packaging issues, chemical contaminants, and other biological contaminants.

Of the milk and dairy product recalls, the majority were caused by Listeria with more than 190. Just less than 100 were because of E. coli. Other reasons included Salmonella, biological contaminants, such as Staphylococcus Aureus, manufacturing or packaging issues, and foreign bodies.

From the fishery products category, more than50 recalls were for Listeria, 31 for norovirus and 32 for histamine. Other reasons for notices were Vibrio, Salmonella, heavy metals, foreign bodies, parasites, marine biotoxins, E. coli, date labelling errors, and undeclared allergens.

Products in the category labeled “others” had 156 recalls. This section included meat, snacks, CBD oils, sliced meats, cheeses, and ready meals. Almost half were due to Listeria. Other listed reasons for recalls were a manufacturing or packaging issue, Salmonella, Clostridium botulinum, foreign bodies, undeclared allergens, and other risks.

Almost 150 recalls were made in the prepared meals and snacks category. The risk for more than 40 recalls was described as other chemical contaminants, Listeria was mentioned 34 times and 28 recalls were because of foreign bodies. Other causes included undeclared allergens, Salmonella, Bacillus Cereus, date label errors, Clostridium botulinum, manufacturing or packaging issues, and the risk of glass breakage.

Variety of problems in different categories
Nearly 150 recalls were in the diet foods and nutrition category. About half were caused by pesticide residues such as ethylene oxide and chlorpyrifos. Among other reasons were unauthorized substances, high levels of additives and flavorings, high polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) levels, and Datura tropane alkaloids.

In the cereals and bakery products category, there were 90 recalls, with a quarter because of undeclared allergens. Acrylamide, a manufacturing or packaging issue, the presence of insects, tropane alkaloids, foreign bodies, and the presence of GMO rice were behind other recalls.

The top reason for the 73 fruit and vegetable recalls was pesticide residues on 22 occasions. Other issues were Clostridium botulinum, Listeria, foreign bodies, undeclared allergens, other chemical contaminants, a manufacturing or packaging issue, high additives or flavoring levels, and date labeling errors.

A total of 24 of the 57 herbs and spices recalls were because of pesticide residues. Other problems were aflatoxin, Salmonella, Bacillus cereus, chemical contaminants, and undeclared allergens.

Pesticide residues also caused the majority of cocoa, coffee and tea recalls. Some of the other reasons included an unauthorized substance, other chemical contaminants, undeclared allergens, and the presence of insects.

In the sweet products category, undeclared allergens and foreign bodies prompted the most recalls. Some were due to Listeria, Salmonella, other chemical contamination, other biological contamination, an unauthorized additive or flavoring, or patulin.

The alcohol and wine and nuts and grain categories both had 24 recalls. In the former, glass bottle faults and foreign body risks were the main causes. In the latter, it was pesticide residues and foreign bodies.

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