food science

How much does a Food recall cost?

In 2018, US companies experienced 213 pathogen related recalls. What did that cost?

We recently attended a food sanitation conference and someone in the audience asked the panel, “How much does a recall costs…or a range I might expect?” Surprising no one had an answer.

We thought this was an important question because it helps us all better understand the cost of waiting to long to address food safety concerns or not having enough effective interventions to successfully eliminate the risks.

So we did a bit of research and here is what we found…

Over half of all recalls cost more than $11 million.

The best source we discovered was published by GMA (The Association of Food, Beverage and Consumer Products Companies) and Ernst & Young. The full report can be viewed by clicking <here>

Graph: ESTIMATED FINANCIAL IMPACT AS A RESULT OF A RECALL Including sales loss, direct recall costs, etc

Adjusted for 2018 US dollars.

48% of recalls cost less than $10 million

47% of recalls cost between $11 million to $110 million

5% of recalls cost more than $112 million

The implementation of additional food safety interventions could have helped these companies reduce their risk and financial impact.