What’s in my Orange Juice?
By Mike Rozembajgier
With all the recent stories about fungicide in orange juice, some consumers are wondering why it hasn’t been recalled. The good news is that all the juice that has been tested so far is safe. Even when the fungicide, known as carbendazim, has been detected, it has been at levels far below the safety threshold set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That’s why none of the orange juice producers have yet needed to implement a recall.
An interesting facet of this story is how the situation came to light. An unnamed juice producer notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that there was a low level of carbendazim in its orange juice. That producer reported the finding out of good faith, even though levels detected were well below the EPA’s safety threshold. Then the unexpected happened. The FDA decided to test samples of every imported product, spurring widespread media attention.
We operate today in an ominous regulatory environment. Every agency is under pressure to do more to protect consumers. As a result, the oversight and requirements placed on manufacturers represent an increasingly heavy burden. In these circumstances, manufacturers and producers should continue to do the right thing to inform agencies and protect the public. But companies need to plan ahead now, during times of quiet, to prepare for the recall and media attention that likely follows a good-faith agency report.
Even if these kinds of events don’t always lead to a recall, they often shed light on a company’s recall crisis plan – or lack of one. Have you as a retailer or manufacturer faced an issue that caused you to step back and reassess your recall plan? What kind of plan do you have in place to deal with non-recall food safety issues? Your comments are most welcome.
Stericycle ExpertRECALL™ is the industry leader in recall logistics and regulatory compliance for consumer product, pharmaceutical, medical device, juvenile product, and food and beverage recalls. ExpertRECALL’s professionals are experts in recall management who can help you streamline the entire product recall process.