The number of product recalls reached a 20-year high in the third quarter of 2022, according to the U.S. product recall index released by Sedgwick Claims Services Management Inc. Across the five industries tracked in the index, 1.22 billion product units have been involved in recalls, up from the previous record set in 2018 of 1.20 billion.
There are several reasons why regulators issued more recalls in 2022. For instance, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 gave regulators more oversight of different food and products, and new technology, including artificial intelligence tools, allowed regulators to identify potential harms sooner. In addition, ongoing effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, such as increased employee turnover and staff shortages, increased the chance for human error.
Third Quarter Highlights
The driving factor behind the record-breaking number was the increases in the average recall size for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, both of which saw their average recall size increase by more than 500%. While medical device recalls decreased in the third quarter of 2022, the number of units impacted increased by 411%. Similarly, pharmaceutical recalls fell 13.8% in the third quarter, but the industry saw 107.2 million units impacted.
Other highlights from the third quarter recall data include:
Mitigating Product Recalls
As manufacturers continue to face challenges relating to regulatory activity, ongoing geopolitical issues, supply chain disruptions, and an uncertain economic future, it’s important for organizations to take the following steps to reduce the threat of a product recall:
As the number of products recalled continues to increase, organizations must be proactive in reducing their risk. Contact us today for more risk management guidance.