ARCHIVED - Statistics: Food Recall Incidents

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A food recall is an action taken by a company to remove potentially unsafe food products or products from the market that do not comply with relevant laws. It is the responsibility of industry to remove the product from sale or distribution.

The CFIA's role is to inform the public, oversee implementation of the recall and verify that industry has removed recalled products from store shelves.

The CFIA oversees approximately 250 recall incidents a year.

Most recalls in Canada are voluntary; this means that the recalls are initiated and carried out by the responsible company, with oversight from the CFIA. If a company is unable or refuses to voluntarily recall a product, the Minister of Health has the power to order a mandatory recall for products that pose a health risk.

To read more about food recalls, please consult our fact sheet.

The CFIA distributes public advisories to media on high-risk recalls and posts them to the CFIA web site. You can also view public advisories on foodsafety.gc.ca. The CFIA also posts food recalls that are considered to be lower-risk on the CFIA website.

Food Recall Incidents

Food Recall Incidents: April 2006 - March 2013. Description follows.
Description for bar graph - April 2006 - March 2013 Table
April 2006 - March 2013
Apr 06 - Mar 07 Apr 07 - Mar 08 Apr 08 - Mar 09 Apr 09 - Mar 10 Apr 10 - Mar 11 Apr 11 - Mar 12 Apr 12 - Mar 13
Number of Recall Incidents 246 218 236 212 264 301 268

Food Recall Incidents by Hazard

Food Recall Incidents by Hazard: April 2006 - March 2013. Description follows.
Description for bar graph - April 2006 - March 2013 Table
April 2006 - March 2013
Apr 06 - Mar 07 Apr 07 - Mar 08 Apr 08 - Mar 09 Apr 09 - Mar 10 Apr 10 - Mar 11 Apr 11 - Mar 12 Apr 12 - Mar 13
Undeclared Allergen 89 54 65 65 121 142 109
Chemical 45 33 57 35 19 24 13
Extraneous Material
26 26 28 19 32 31 47
Microbiological
64 75 73 75 78 82 81
Other Food Safety
22 30 13 18 14 22 18

Glossary

Undeclared allergen
A food product contains ingredients such as peanuts, milk or eggs that are not identified on the label and that can cause adverse reactions in people who are allergic to the item.
Chemical
A food product contains chemical residues such as lead, mercury or pesticides that, at certain levels, can affect human health.
Extraneous material
A food product contains material from an outside source, such as metal, glass or hair. These are not necessarily a risk to human health.
Microbiological
A food product is contaminated by micro-organisms, such as bacteria, viruses or parasites, which have the potential to cause illness.
Other
A food product is of concern due to the presence of marine biotoxins or non-permitted food ingredients; or due to nutrition concerns, irradiation or other health concerns; or tampering.
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