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In 2018 there were more food alerts than ever before

You see them again and again in shops: recalls for food. Unfortunately the review of the past year is no exception.

  • Published: 28.08.2019
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The reasons for the alerts range from harmless packaging defects to microbiological contamination. On the Lebensmittelwarnung.de website, the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety Germany draws attention to current product recalls.

The chart shows that the number of alerts published has risen steadily over the past three years in particular, reaching a new high of 186 in 2018. If this is spread over a whole year, a food warning is published in Germany approximately every second day.

Chart, food warning, maximum level

Reasons for alerts

If we take a closer look at the various reasons why food manufacturers have to take responsibility for recalls, we see that microbiological contamination and foreign bodies are the two top reasons. They account for almost two thirds (63%) of recalls from 2011 to 2018.

Charts, food warnings, warning reasons

Unfortunately, these reasons are to be regarded as extremely harmful to consumers and a decline would therefore be desirable.  However, they are again the main reasons for recalls in 2018 and are about two thirds (63.9%), just like in the overall statistics. In addition, 2018 was a year in which an above-average number of exceedances of limit values (21 cases) in foodstuffs were found. On the positive side, there was no case of increased dioxin and PCB levels in the past year.

Chart, food warning, number 2018

Why do these things happen despite strict regulations?

The most important points in food production are hygiene measures and the cleanliness of the production environment. These should in Germany be ensured by the EU regulation on food hygiene (No. 852/2004) and the national food hygiene regulation (LMHV). Nevertheless many companies have problems to develop an effective hygiene and cleaning concept, so that in the past frightening conditions had to be determined at some inspections. In addition to structural defects at the production facilities, inspection reports also repeatedly list heavy soiling of work equipment, work rooms and work clothing.

ProfilGate® is the solution to keep dirt away

The best strategy to keep your production environment clean is not to let contaminants into the building in the first place. It is therefore advisable to install cleaning systems at all entrances that reliably remove dirt. ProfilGate® offers an excellent opportunity here. The innovative system cleans tires, rollers, wheels and shoe soles simply by driving over or passing over them. The patented brush strips work actively due to their pretension and the angled arrangement of the bristles. They remove up to 80 percent of the dirt adhering to tires and soles, purely mechanically.
The ProfilGate® aqua series is recommended for particularly sensitive areas. Wet cleaning with optional addition of disinfectant enables even more intensive cleaning - perfect for the high hygiene requirements of the food industry. With this system you can keep away both microbiological impurities and foreign bodies in the long term.

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Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit via:
http://www.lebensmittelwarnung.de + Informationen per E-Mail

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Graphiken: Visualisierung durch HEUTE Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG / Datengrundlage per E-Mail durch Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit

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Susanne Dolassek

Team Lead Germany - Specialist Food & Beverage

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