Reducing the risks of recalls

With research showing that only 21 per cent of all product recalls over the last decade were detected by the company themselves, it is more important than ever that food and beverage manufacturers review and prevent contamination and mislabeling.

The most startling figures from the food industry are those that hint at the major financial burden of product recalls,” said, Tatjana Milenovic, global head of food and beverage at ABB. According to the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the estimated average cost for a food recall is $10 million – and that is only the direct costs to the company, such as the retrieval and disposal of the tainted product.

“Food packaging is advancing in many ways, with its principle roles being to protect food products from outside influences — making it a critical component in the overall safety process. However, contamination and mislabeling risks at the packaging stage are often overlooked and emphasis on food safety usually lies in the preparation of the food itself.”

 The risk of recalls
While most food recalls are voluntary, it is usually in the best interest of a food facility to fully cooperate and initiate a significant risk to human health if a manufacturer or distributor is unwilling to launch a voluntary recall, or if the agency decided that the company’s voluntary action is ineffective.

In 2010, multinational food manufacturing company, Kellogg’s, issued a voluntary recall of 28 million cereal boxes because of an “uncharacteristic off-flavour and smell” imparted to the food from the waxed inner packaging. While the company said that the chance of serious illness from the smell was low, the brand’s reputation suffered, with reports showing that the company’s stock prices fell by 0.8 per cent.

Food and drink processing company, Nestlé, had to mandatorily recall two million litres of baby milk in four European countries due to traces of IsopropilThioXantone (ITX) in its cartons. ITX was in the ink used to print the rolls of material before they were converted into packaging.

Although Nestlé attempted to calm consumer fears that their children were in danger of ingesting ITX, the nature of the recall cost the company around $1.75 million.

Food fraud
Food fraud describes any product that is deliberately mislabeled, misrepresented, diluted or manipulated. Unsurprisingly, profit is the main motivator behind this crime — with everyday products like honey, alcohol, milk and coffee being the most commonly counterfeited goods.

Advancements in software are now enabling manufacturers to monitor supply chains digitally, allowing them to easily identify areas where traceability could be improved. Using intelligent supply chain software, such as  ABB’s Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) software, a food manufacturer can view real-time production data from their suppliers. By adding the supplier’s data to their own, the manufacturer can easily identify if the wrong batch of ingredients has been dispatched, before they are used in manufacturing.

Mislabeling
Properly declaring allergens in products is another crucial process to avert product recall. Once a company has identified the potential allergens, and processed products according to its hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) system, it is responsible for ensuring the product is adequately packaged, labelled and stored.

Considering that someone goes to the hospital for a food allergy reaction every three minutes, it is troubling that undeclared allergens and ingredients are one of the main drivers behind product recalls. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently evaluated allergen-related recalls and found that they are usually caused by new food ingredients, new suppliers, or a misprinted food label. Mislabeling can be easily controlled by an effective quality assurance department.

The effects of recalls can be far-reaching, affecting everything from consumer health to brand confidence. With the increase in automation sophistication to boost productivity and profit margins, it is becoming more achievable to have a clear, set process in place throughout the whole production cycle.

However, even though manufacturers have manual and automated systems in place to check labelling and packaging, it is up to the manufacturer to make sure that their product is up to standard, to make profit and build reliable brands for customers.

 

 

Six ways food manufacturers can reduce risks through supply chains

There has been an alarming growth in food recalls in Australia: 106 recalls took place in 2018-19, compared with 81 in 2017-18 and 61 in 2016-17. A provider of food safety certification and training is pointing to weak supply chain management as a primary cause and is urging food manufacturers and retailers to put in place robust food safety management systems to reduce supply chain risks.

The message comes from SAI Global, which has audited thousands of food retailers and manufacturers to ensure they comply with food industry regulations, and trains thousands of Australians annually on food safety through its tailored training, public courses and webinars.

SAI Global food safety spokesperson Maidie Wood says: “Food has never been a more global, fast-moving and complex market than it is today. When a food crosses borders of any kind, the familiar health and safety risks are joined by several others, including intentional and inadvertent adulteration, product mislabelling, substitution, spoilage due to any unforeseen circumstance, damage while in transit and unpredictable politics and shifts in regulations.”

She adds: “Food manufacturers need to be continually rethinking their controls, monitor their indirect suppliers and implement key performance indicators to manage downstream supply risks.”

SAI Global reveals six ways food businesses can reduce food safety risks in their supply chain:

  1. Always listen to the consumer. Consumers increasingly care about where their foods come from and are demanding high ethical standards when it comes to the sourcing and manufacturing of food. For example, today’s consumers are better informed about the impact of diet on wellbeing, and expect information about provenance, nutrition and allergens to be supplied on the foods they consume. As organisations are increasingly being held publicly accountable for the poor ethical activities of their first, second, third, and even fourth tier suppliers, staying close to consumers’ needs is now critical to their success.
  1. Use technology to build greater transparency. As technology is connecting food manufacturers and retailers to more suppliers than ever, it is essential they are aware of the risks. The availability of technologies such as sensors to detect temperature changes and smart packaging that changes colour based on expiry dates give manufacturers greater control over potential risks.
  1. Set key performance indicators for suppliers. As tracking performance is key to improving it, a good idea is to motivate suppliers to strive for excellence. For instance, high performing suppliers could be awarded for providing the highest quality products, most on-time delivery, and excellent service. It is best to ensure these indicators are right for the early identification of risk and are set throughout the supply chain.
  2. Monitor indirect suppliers. It can be a challenge to document the end-to-end supply chain – and manufacturers who can source from anywhere are at greater risk of losing control of their supplier relationships. This is where monitoring of indirect suppliers is important. Although this can be both an extensive and expensive process, requiring both time and money, decisions regarding who to target and how far to go depends on the relative risks associated with the ingredients or products being sourced, such as country of origin.
  3. Implement a supplier diversity management program. Supplier diversity management – the process of creating a diverse supply chain to secure the inclusion of different groups – is an increasing focus among food companies looking to move from the ‘preferred supplier’ model to a ‘multi-supplier’ relationship model. Such a program can introduce innovation through new products, services and solutions, and allow a company to explore new opportunities for business expansion. For example, if a food product has been damaged or destroyed by bushfire, having a supplier diversity program allows the manufacturer to be agile in sourcing an ingredient from an alternative supplier, possibly in a difference part of the world. This model does not come without its challenges, however. The need to stay abreast of ever-changing consumer needs makes building holistic relationships of trust and transparency even more critical.
  1. Get food safety training and certification. Although it’s a legal requirement that all food handlers in Australia are trained in food safety, more in-depth Food Safety Supervisor training, such as HACCP certification, is best practice but not mandatory. However, the benefits of this training far outweigh the risks. SAI Global encourages food manufacturers and retailers to get certified to meet internationally recognised food safety standards such as SQF, FSSC, ISO 22000, BRCGS and IFS which all incorporate HACCP, to show their customers that they have a robust food safety management system in place. These standards enable businesses to improve their processes, increase efficiencies, and ultimately, communicate with their partners about risks in the supply chain.

How to conduct better product recalls – Industry advice for the food and grocery sector

Want expert advice on how to ensure a product recall is executed accurately and efficiently?

GS1 has put together a video on how to conduct better product recalls, providing industry advice for the food and grocery sector. Communications to trading partners and regulators assist organisations to compile and communicate product recall noticed to your customers as quickly as possible. Get up to speed on the basics of how to conduct a product recall, land earn where to go for help in the event of a product recall emergency.

Hepatitis A cases linked to recalled frozen pomegranate product

SA Health is reminding the public not to consume 180g Creative Gourmet frozen pomegranate arils purchased from Coles, following two cases of hepatitis A in South Australia potentially linked to the recalled product.

Last month the owner of Creative Gourmet, Entyce Food Ingredients, initiated a precautionary recall of multiple best-before dates of the product because of a link to a hepatitis A outbreak in New South Wales.

SA Health’s Director of Food and Controlled Drugs, Dr Fay Jenkins, said while there are currently no laboratory results linking the two cases to the outbreak, the cases are an important reminder for consumers to dispose of any affected products.

“We know frozen goods, in particular foods like berries and pomegranate, can sometimes stay in people’s freezers for many months following their purchase,” Dr Jenkins said.

“We would ask consumers to check their freezer and dispose of 180g Creative Gourmet frozen pomegranate arils packets with any best-before date up to March 21, 2020, or return them to Coles for a full refund.

“Fresh pomegranate and frozen Australian-grown pomegranate products are not affected.”

There have been 11 cases of hepatitis A linked to the product nationally.

The South Australian cases were in a 33-year-old man and a 64-year-old woman, who were both hospitalised. The woman remains in a serious condition and the man has been discharged.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include nausea, vomiting, fever, yellowing of the skin, dark urine and pale stools, and the infection can take from 15 to 50 days to develop.

If symptoms appear, people who have eaten Creative Gourmet frozen pomegranate from Coles should consult their doctor as early as possible.

Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice.

Two NSW deaths linked to listeria-infected rockmelon

The deaths of two people in NSW have been linked to a listeria outbreak. In addition, a further eight people in NSW, Victoria and Queensland have fallen ill as a result of the outbreak.

All 10 people consumed rockmelon prior to their illness.

The NSW Food Authority said in a statement it is advising consumers who are most vulnerable to Listeria infection such as older persons, and people who have weakened immune systems due to illness or pregnancy, to avoid eating rockmelon after a recent spike in listeriosis cases in elderly people has been linked to the fruit.

As a precaution, consumers particularly those who are elderly, pregnant or immune compromised who may have rockmelon already in their home are advised to discard it.

Listeria is found widely in the environment and rarely causes serious illness in the general population but for vulnerable people, such as those who are over 70, pregnant, or have diabetes, cancer or suppressed immune systems, it can be extremely serious or even life threatening.

The outbreak has been linked to a grower in Nericon NSW. The company voluntarily ceased production on Friday 23 February 2018, shortly after being notified of a potential link to illness and is working proactively with the Authority to further investigate how any contamination could have occurred in order to get back into production as soon as possible.

Any affected product is being removed from the supply chain, so consumers can be assured rockmelons currently available on shelves are not implicated in this outbreak.

Listeriosis starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea, and sometimes diarrhoea. The symptoms can take a few days or even up to six weeks to appear after eating contaminated produce.

People at risk should consult their local doctor as early as possible should symptoms appear.

Cadbury recalls some chocolate blocks because of plastic find

Chocolate maker Cadbury has recalled some Caramilk chocolate blocks because pieces of plastic have been found in some of them.

The company said in a statement the products affected are 190g Cadbury Caramilk chocolate block sold in Australia only with best before dates of 17/01/2019 and 21/01/2019.

The recalled product has been available for sale in Coles, Woolworths, IGA’s and independent retailers (VIC only) in NSW, QLD, VIC, SA, TAS and WA.

Products containing plastic may cause minor injury if consumed. Analysis of the samples received to date has determined that this product does not appear to pose a serious health or food safety risk, but the quality and safety of our products, as well as our consumers, is our first priority and a recall has been initiated to prevent the risk of minor injury.

Affected product should not be consumed and should be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund – no proof-of-purchase is required.

No other Mondelēz International or Cadbury brand or product is affected. Cadbury Caramilk

products sold in New Zealand and all other Caramilk products sold in Australia with different best before dates, are not affected by this recall.

Consumers are asked to call our consumer relations centre on 1800 034 241 if they have any further inquiries.

 

Australian food & beverage industry not prepared for crises

While many food companies are relatively well prepared to deal with product recall, they are under-prepared in the event of a crisis, according to a new survey.

The Food and Grocery Product Recall Survey Report by the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) and Victual also found that insurance cover across the industry is inadequate, leaving organisations vulnerable to potential costs of over $10 million in the event that something goes wrong.

Additional key findings include that recalls have steadily increased in recent years, largely due to the detection of undeclared allergens and microbial contamination.

While all respondents said they have a recall plan in place, only 59 per cent frequently review it. In addition, one third of businesses surveyed have either no nominated spokesperson or have not trained their spokesperson in the event of a recall or crisis

“The results of the survey highlight the need for industry to better prepare themselves for a crisis situation. We have seen time and time again that a poorly managed recall has the potential to turn quickly into a crisis, affecting a company’s reputation and bottom line. This is especially relevant with the advent of social media, where issues are rapidly amplified,” said Director of Victual Recall and report co-author, Peter McGee.

“An essential component of protecting an organisation’s balance sheet is to transfer the risk of a product recall escalating in to a crisis through the purchase of specialist recall insurance. Added to this is the need for access to specialist resources to guide the recall process.”

The report states that there are many direct and indirect costs incurred when a recall occurs. These include not only tangible costs such as logistics, cleansing and legal fees, but more importantly costs relating to a damaged brand. The report notes that the average global cost of a recall is US $10 million. The fact that 62 per cent of respondents purchase insurance that covers significantly less than this amount is concerning.

“An insurance policy is complex, but it is a critical contract that needs to be understood so that it responds in the way you expect it to,” said David Goodall, Director of Victual Recall and a report co-author.

“For example, understanding the difference between a stand-alone contaminated products insurance policy and a product recall extension under Public & Products Liability policies is essential to ensure that you are not exposed to all the major costs relating to a recall.

“Specialised recall insurance, combined with carefully-executed preparedness planning could be the difference between the end of a business and its ongoing viability.”

The survey made these recommendations to industry:

  • Businesses need a robust system for monitoring customer sentiment, including through social media
  • Small, relatively cheap measures, such as reducing batch quantities and storing batch samples, can reduce recall costs
  • Systems that track components or raw materials through the supply chain can help to pinpoint the source of defects
  • Good communication between suppliers and retailers regarding product and packaging changes can reduce the risk of unexpected product issues
  • A robust and practised recall and crisis management plan will limit the impact of a recall event

 

 

Kettle Fried Potato Chips recalled

Snack Brands Australia has recalled Kettle Rosemary and Sea Salt and Kettle Sea Salt from Woolworths and Coles stores in the ACT, NSW and VIC because they could contain foreign materials.

The NSW Food Authority issued a warning saying the products may contain white rubber pieces.

Specifically, the recalled products are:

  • Kettle Sea Salt (175g) at Woolworths in NSW, ACT & Vic.
  • Kettle Sea Salt (300g) at Woolworths in NSW & ACT
  • Rosemary & Sea Salt (175g) at Coles in NSW & ACT

Snack Brands Australia’s statement reads: “Consumers should not eat this product as they represent a possible choking hazard. Consumers should return the affected product to the place of purchase for a full cash refund. We apologise for any inconvenience.”

 

Leak detectors for flexible food packaging

Contamination accounts for a large portion of recalls in the food processing industry and can lead to high costs and even legal ramifications. Bestech has come up with a simple solution to put your mind to rest.

Food processors are constantly looking to increase productivity – however, responsibility for product integrity doesn’t leave their remit when their packaged goods are shipped around the world for consumption.

On the contrary, businesses are fast adapting to strict standards for health, safety and quality right along the supply chain; from the farm where their ingredients are grown through to the factory floor where they are packaged.

Acting on issues of food waste, engineers at Bestech Australia – which specialises in sensors and instrumentation  – have come up with a new device that ensures packaged foods are sealed properly, increasing their shelf life and saving costs.

Sealtick offers a range of leak detectors to check the integrity of flexible packages like biscuits, chips, coffee and milk powder.

A small problem with package sealing on a production line can lead to extensive food wastage if the problem isn’t detected soon enough.

According to statistics released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, food products such as wheat and beef are among some of highest exports in the agriculture sector.

Amid a market tipped to pass $60 billion, a significant number of food products are manufactured and shipped every day.

In Australia, food contamination is one of the main causes for product recalls while microbial exposure is often the culprit for a spoiled product.

Down the line, recalls can affect businesses in many ways; the most worrisome include legal action, while grounds to halt production and a tarnished reputation can also give manufacturers sleepless nights.

Advances in food processing and food packaging play an important role in ensuring manufactured goods are safe for consumption – meaning that both the food’s production and packaging go hand in hand.

“A small, hard-to-detect leakage can lead to a significantly reduced shelf life, and often spoilt product which could be soggy or moldy,” said Samson Sim, Bestech marketing engineer.

“This could bring a bad name to the brand. Leak testing the product ensures that it is fresh when it reaches the consumer.”

All food that is produced – after a sealing problem occurs right up until the time it is discovered – will have to be thrown away.

Traditional testing methods for leakage involve dunking the package in water. However this wet packet, even though good, has to be thrown out.

Sealtick uses a non-destructive dry test for package leak integrity. Therefore, the tested good product can go back on the production line after the test.

The savings in cost that this solution can create could potentially pay for the machine in the space of a few weeks.

“A good brand is associated with good product quality and attractive packaging,” Sim said. “This packaging has to effectively seal and protect the contents inside to ensure a good customer experience.

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“Sealtick offers very fast testing, taking only about 15 seconds for a test. This allows regular integrity testing so the staff can push the boundaries of production speed while maintaining high seal quality and avoid costly wastage.”

Food packaging reduces the risk of product deterioration, maintaining food quality while extending shelf life.

Deterioration to foods can happen three different ways, whether that is chemically, biologically or physically.

Chemical deterioration is caused by exposure to oxygen, moisture or light, which can cause compositional changes.

Biological deterioration includes exposure to micro-organisms, insects, rodents and other pests, which cause disease and can spoil the product.

Packaging also provides physical protection that shields food from direct contact. This can damage the product – which is why seal checks such as Bestech’s latest technology are worth the investment.

The companies that are using Sealtick for package leak testing have a consistently good product going out the factory, according to Bestech, who claim to have set a new benchmark in leak testing of food products.

The test is fast – around 10 to 15 seconds – and, while contaminant free, there is no water involved and is extremely sensitive; it can detect holes as small as 10 microns.

“We are always looking for a longer shelf life for our food products and the market is growing fast,” Sim added.

Creative Gourmet’s frozen mixed berries recalled

The maker of Creative Gourmet’s frozen mixed berries has recalled a batch of its 300g product sold in independent supermarkets across Australia, after the product was linked to three cases of hepatitis A. This comes two years after a similar scandal affected the brand.

A “precautionary” recall was issued last Friday, calling for anyone who had purchased the company’s 300g Creative Gourmet Frozen Mixed Berries with a best-before date before January 15, 2021 to return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

This came after a packet tested positive to traces of hepatitis A. A second test came out negative, but the product was recalled as a precaution. This affects 45,000 packets sold in supermarkets including IGA, Foodworks, Foodland, SPAR and Supabarn.

The berries were sourced from Canada and China and packaged in Australia by Entyce Food Ingredients, which bought Creative Gourmet from Patties Foods in 2015.

“Consumers can be confident that the recalled batch of Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries 300g is an isolated one and the recalled batch is no longer available on supermarket shelves,” said a spokesperson for Entyce Food Ingredients.

Bread rolls recalled over fears they contain metal

Quality Bakers Australia has recalled several popular brands of bread rolls from stores in NSW and the ACT because of fears they could contain pieces of metal.

The NSW Food Authority said in a statement the products, which were sold from various retail outlets including Coles, Woolworths, Metcash/IGA, and corner stores, have a best before date of October 2, 2016.

The full list of recalled products includes:

Coles White Round Rolls 6 Pack, plastic film

Coles Smartbuy 6 Hamburger Rolls, plastic film

Coles Smartbuy 6 Hot Dog Rolls, plastic film

Coles White Long Roll 6 Pack, plastic film

Mighty Soft Hot Dog P6, plastic film

Mighty Soft Hamburger 5″ P6, plastic film

IGA Bakers Oven White Round Roll P6, plastic film

IGA Bakers Oven Hot Dog Roll P6, plastic film

IGA Bakers Oven Hamburger Roll P6, plastic film

Hot Dog P6 Top Slice, plastic film

Hamburger Jumbo 5″ P12 Bulk, plastic film

UB White Round Batch Roll P6, plastic film

UB White SD SUB P6, plastic film

UB White SD Round Roll 4″ P6, plastic film

UB White Hot Dog Roll 7″ P6, plastic film

UB AMERICAN SLD 5″ Hamburger Roll P6, plastic film

UB White SUB P6, plastic film

The product can be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund. For more information contact Quality Bakers Australia on 1800 810 599 or via www.goodmanfielder.com

 

Product recalls up every year for the last five: ACCC

Product recalls for the 2015 – 2016 financial year were up by 14 per cent, a trend the ACCC called “concerning”.

As Fairfax reports, while the most recalled category was cars with 182,  food and grocery products (123, up from 71) accounted for the second largest number of recalls. In addition, hobby, sport and recreation saw 79 recalls (up from 44).

Overall, there were 670 recalls, up from 596 the previous year.

Deputy chair of the ACC, Delia Rickard, said the rise in recalls for the year was “concerning”.

“Recalls have been trending up every year for the last five years,” the ABC quotes her as saying.

“More and more, we are seeing suppliers seeking to keep costs down, sourcing from overseas countries without having direct oversight of every step of the supply chain.”

Aldi recalls hot dog rolls after metal shavings found in them

Supermarket chain Aldi has recalled hot dog rolls sold from its stores in NSW and the ACT after metal shavings were found in some of them.

The affected products are the 450g ‘Bakers Life Hot Dog Rolls – 6 Packs’, sold in plastic bags with a clip, and carrying the best before date of July 14.

“Consumers should not eat this product as metal shavings may cause injury if consumed,” the NSW Food Authority said in a statement.

“Consumers should return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund.

“Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice.”

An Aldi spokeswoman told the SMH the company is conducting a close investigation with the supplier of the product and is collaborating with the food safety regulating authorities.

For more information contact ALDI on 1800 709 993.

Food and beverage recall portal certified by HACCP Australia

GS1 Australia has received certification from HACCP Australia for Recall – an electronic product recall notification management system designed to minimise the impact and cost of food and beverage products recalled and withdrawn from the supply chain.

The Recall service has been certified as ‘effective and suitable for businesses that operate a HACCP based Food Safety Programme’.

HACCP Australia is a food science organisation specialising in the HACCP Food Safety Methodology. HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) is a risk management methodology used by the food and beverage industry for the identification, evaluation and control of food safety hazards.

According to Richard Jones, GS1 Australia’s General Manager – Marketing and Quality Services, the certification of Recall is a major milestone for HACCP compliant food suppliers in the Australian Food and Grocery Industry.

“Recall is the first online recall portal to be approved and certified by HACCP. This means that in the event of a product recall or withdrawal, subscribers of the Recall service will have access to a convenient and effective means of complying with HACCP requirements for recall communications such as notifications, reporting and tracking of communications.”

Australia’s leading food businesses (retail, service and manufacturing) now demand that their suppliers have a HACCP-based food safety program in place.

A food safety program is an important tool for helping businesses who process or sell potentially hazardous foods to maintain safe food handling practices and protect public health.

Martin Stone, Technical Director of HACCP Australia said, “HACCP protocols are designed to ensure consumer safety by preventing as many food hazards as possible. A food safety program should be put in place to prevent any danger from those hazards. Food safety programs always include procedures for product recall.

“The recently certified service from GS1 Australia called Recall is an effective online solution that maximises the effectiveness of a product recall that can reduce the risk to consumer safety.”

SPC Ardmona recalls tinned tomatoes due to explosion risk

SPC Ardmona has recalled a batch of tinned tomatoes which have increased pressure and could potentially explode while being opened.

The company said in a statement the affected products were the 400g Ardmona Whole Peeled Vine Ripened Tomatoes, carrying the code TOM W/P 428580 007CM on their base.

The products were sold from Coles, Woolworths, IGA and independent supermarkets.

Anybody who has these products should throw them out immediately and contact SPC on 1800 805 168.

“No other Ardmona products, or any other SPC products, are affected,” a company spokeswoman said.

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Blue ribbon ice cream recalled

Unilever Australia has recalled 1.25l and 2l tubs of Blue Ribbon ice cream tubs because of fears they may contain plastic pieces.

The company said in a statement that there have been a small number of cases where plastic has been found so they are recalling the products to prevent possible injury to consumers.

The affected products have best before dates between 28th April 2017 – 27th April 2018. The recall affects products sold through retail outlets across Australia.

Members of the public can return empty ice cream tubs to the place of purchase for a full refund.

According to the SMH, the contamination took place during the production process at the company’s Minto factory.

“This is an operational issue whereby plastic appears to have entered some tubs during the production process,” a Unilever spokeswoman said.

“We have undertaken a full investigation of the issue and reviewed our quality assurance measures. We have implemented a number of measures to address the issue and are confident the steps we have taken have rectified the problem.”

Unilver said products with a best before date from 28th April 2018 onwards are not affected and invited members of the public to contact the company if they have any questions.

Mars 55-country recall does not extend to Australia

The Mars voluntary chocolate recall affects 55 countries though not Australia, according to the company.

As reported yesterday, products made at a factory in Veghel, the Netherlands, have been recalled after a complaint last month by a German customer. The consumer found a piece of red plastic in a Snickers bar.

A Mars Australia spokeswoman told the ABC that chocolates in Australia were apparently unaffected.

"We are not aware at this stage of it affecting products brought into Australia by Mars Chocolate Australia and it does not affect any of the products made by us at our facility in Ballarat, Victoria," she said, in a statement to the ABC.

"While the number of products affected is limited, it is possible that some of the affected products have been shipped to duty-free retailers or brought into Australia by third-party importers that are not associated with Mars."

The company has refused to put a figure on the recall of the various products, including Mars, Snickers and Celebrations brands with expiration dates between May and October this year.

Analyst Neil Saunders of consultancy Conlumino said it was certainly in the tens of millions of dollars.

“The cost comes directly from the recall process, the loss of writing off products, and from lost sales,” he told The Guardian.

Raw goat’s milk recalled due to E. coli contamination

Ebuta Goat Dairy Townsville has recalled Ebuta Dairy Goats Milk Unpasteurised from greengrocers in Townsville, QLD due to E. coli contamination.

In Queensland, goat’s milk is the only milk which can be sold unpasteurised. Unpasteurised goats milk is permitted subject to compliance with the dairy scheme which includes strict requirements for testing, appropriate recall procedures, and labelling. The statement ‘Caution— this milk is an unpasteurised product and may contain organisms that could be injurious to health’ is required to be included on the product.

Ebuta Goat Dairy are currently one of three dairy’s in Queensland accredited to sell raw goat milk to the public.

The recall applies to products with the following date markings:

Packaged between: 11.06.2015 – 17.06.2015

Fresh Use by: all dates between 20.06.2015 – 27.06.2015

Frozen Use by: all dates between 20.12.2015 and 27.12.2015

Food products contaminated with E. coli may cause illness if consumed. Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.

 

Maggi to lose over $250m following food safety ban

Maggi, a subsidiary of the Nestlé group, is set to lose over $250 million in brand value following a ban imposed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Maggi will destroy $64 million worth of noodles in India which have been branded “unsafe and hazardous” after the FSSAI discovered “higher-than-allowed levels of lead” in some noodle packets.

Maggi’s brand was valued at $3 billion prior to the food safety ban, which ranked the noodle manufacturer as the 23rd most valuable food brand in the world. However, Brand Finance analysts have calculated that the $64 million loss of goods combined with a damaged brand, results in a reduced brand value of $2.8 billion.

Nestlé India has said the noodles in India are safe, but that they have decided to take the products off the shelf due to “an environment of confusion for the consumer”.

This, Nestlé believes, does not provide a conducive environment to have the product in the market, at this moment.

Speaking to the media, Paul Bulcke, Global Chief Executive, Nestlé said: “The trust of our consumers and the safety and quality of our products is our foremost priority everywhere in the world. Unfortunately, recent developments and growing concerns about the product have led to confusion for the consumer to such an extent that we have decided to take the product temporarily off the shelves, in spite the product being safe”.

Responding to the recent concerns around lead, Nestlé has conducted extensive, additional tests on over 1000 batches of MAGGI Noodles at its own accredited labs, complimented by tests on over 600 batches at external laboratories. All results indicate that MAGGI Noodles are safe and well within the regulatory limits established in India. Nestlé has shared these results with the authorities, as well as with the broader public online.

Nestlé has decided to challenge the high court whilst also raising “issues of interpretation” of India's food safety laws.

The Maggi Noodles Nestlé sells in Australia are made in Malaysia.

 

Woolworths recalls pies that may contain glass

Woolworths is conducting a national recall of its Select Chicken & Vegetable Pies 4pk from Woolworths and Safeway stores nationally, due to the presence of foreign matter (glass).

The recall applies to products sold in Woolworths and Safeway stores nationally from 14 April 2015, with a Best Before date of 9 October 2016 to 10 October 2016 inclusive.

No other products are affected by this recall.

The product can be returned to Woolworths or Safeway Supermarkets for a full refund.

Last year, Woolworths recalled 500g blocks of its Homebrand tasty cheese after a consumer bit into a safety pin buried in the product.