Organic food recalls are dramatically increasing, according to new data. In fact, these products accounted for 7 percent of all food units recalled so far this year, compared to only 2 percent last year.
The data was compiled by Stericycle, a company that handles recalls for businesses. “The growing consumer and corporate demand for organic ingredients is partially to blame for the increase in recalls,” said Kevin Pollack, vice present 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,” Pollack said. “This is a fairly serious and really important issue because a lot of consumers just aren’t aware of it.”
Moreover, the amount of foods recalled due to potential bacterial contamination has surged this year, adding to an upward trend that started in 2012. Stericycle predicts a 24 percent increase in the foods recalled by the FDA by year-end.
The Organic Trade Association disagrees with Stericycle’s assessment saying its own quick analysis of data from the FDA and the Agriculture Department show the problem is not as severe and estimates 4.9 percent of recalls.