Poland was top of the pile for food recalls in the second quarter of 2019 – the first time they have been the lead country of origin since at least 2016.

A total of 88 recalls and notifications could be traced to the Eastern European nation, ahead of Turkey with 72, China with 49, France with 39 and Spain with 37.

The overall number of recalls, including food, feed, and food contact materials – 986 – represents the fourth largest quarter in the history of the RASFF (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed), albeit a 5.3 per cent reduction on Q1 of this year.

As with the previous quarter, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Germany were the top food notifying countries, accounting for 29.3 per cent of the recalls and notifications.

For the sixth consecutive quarter, the most common type of food product recalled was nuts, nut products and seeds, with 187 recalls, down from 216 in Q1. This was followed by fruit and vegetables with 109 and poultry meat/poultry meat products with 104.

Mark Buckingham, recall consultant at Stericycle Expert Solutions, said: “Vigilance is the watchword when it comes to recalls, and the systems we have in place are doing an excellent job of removing dangerous products from the marketplace. There is a responsibility for manufacturers to recall products at the earliest opportunity, and we would encourage everyone to have robust processes in place for dealing with these issues.”

The top cause for food recalls was bacterial contamination (283) followed by chemicals (153) and aflatoxins (116). Bacterial contamination has now been the top cause of food recalls and notifications for 11 consecutive quarters.