Significant Rise in Organic Food Recalls Due to Bacterial Contamination
(HealthDay News) — There has been a sharp rise in recalls of organic food products in the United States this year, according to a new report.
So far, organic food products have accounted for 7 percent of all food units recalled, according to Stericycle, a company that handles recalls for businesses. It uses data from the U.S., Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture, The New York Times reported. Last year, only 2 percent of total units of food recalled were organic, and the percentage was 1 percent in 2012 and 2013.
Growing consumer and business demand for organic ingredients contributed to increase in recalls, according to Kevin Pollack, a vice president at Stericycle. "What's striking is that since 2012, all organic recalls have been driven by bacterial contamination, like salmonella, listeria, and hepatitis A, rather than a problem with a label," he told The Times. "This is a fairly serious and really important issue because a lot of consumers just aren't aware of it."
However, the Organic Trade Association said the problem is not as bad as suggested by Stericycle. "A key point to keep in mind is that an overall increase in organic recalls between 2012 and 2015 would not be surprising -- not because organic food is less safe, but because of the dramatic increase in organic food sales and purchases that we've been seeing in this country," Gwendolyn Wyard, senior director of regulatory and technical affairs at the trade group, told The Times.