Research Reveals Increase In Product Recall Notices In Europe

Study Focuses On Food, Consumer Goods And Automotive Alerts

24.06.2014

New research has revealed that a year-on-year increase in product recall notices issued in Europe was seen in the first quarter of 2014.

According to the Q1 Stericycle European Recall and Notification Index, a total of 1,338 notifications on products in the key product areas of food, consumer goods and automotive were issued in the first three months of this year.

The figure marked an increase from the 1,118 issued across the same period last year, with 59 per cent of the notices being related to food, 38 per cent linked to consumer goods and just three per cent on automotive.

It was also revealed that products originating from Spain, China and Germany were most likely to be subject to such alerts, while there was also an increase in voluntary notifications from manufacturers looking to pre-empt action from regulatory authorities.

According to the report, such action highlighted how companies are increasingly aware of the seriousness of product safety notifications and the reputational impact such issues can have.

It also called on more effective monitoring and traceability to be introduced to ensure manufacturers understand regulatory requirements across jurisdictions.

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Expert Opinion
The issue of product safety and regulation has been placed firmly in the spotlight in the past couple of years, following several high-profile cases such as the PIP breast implant scandal and the ongoing concerns related to metal-on-metal hip implants.

"Such issues mean that both the general public and manufacturers are increasingly aware of the matter, which is why ensuring the safety of products is arguably under more scrutiny than ever before.

"While it is welcome to see manufacturers identifying problems themselves and issuing pre-emptive alerts, it is vital that they also work to tackle these issues at source and ensure lessons are learned from them.

"The wellbeing of consumers should always come first and it is vital, that the lessons being learned from these very high profile cases are being taken into account by manufacturers in their new product lines and in their product re-engineering of existing products, and that both manufacturers and regulators work closely to ensure that the public are entitled to have confidence in the quality and safety of the products they purchase in a shop, showroom or pharmacy."
Kevin Timms, Solicitor