Language selection

Search

Statistics: Food recall incidents and food recalls

A food recall is the removal of a food from further sale or use, or the correction of its label, at any point in the supply chain as a risk mitigation action. It is the responsibility of industry to effectively remove the recalled food from the marketplace.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) role is to inform the public, oversee implementation of the recall and verify that industry has effectively removed recalled food from the marketplace.

The CFIA oversees approximately 175 recall incidents a year.

Most recalls in Canada are voluntary meaning that they are conducted by the recalling food business, with oversight from the CFIA. If a food business is unable or refuses to conduct a voluntary food recall, the Minister of Health has the power to order a mandatory recall for any food that poses a health risk.

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

Informing the public

Informing the public about high risk recalls is critical as consumers may have recalled food in their homes that they should not consume.

Food recall incidents and total recalls

A recall incident represents a breakdown in the food safety system leading to the request for a recall. A recall incident may lead to additional recalls (secondary) and have a common factor(s) such as product, cause, process deviation, etc. (For example, an out of country manufacturer recalls food that was shipped to 5 importers. This is captured as 1 recall incident and 5 recalls in total.)

The total number of food recalls is the measure of all recalls conducted and includes recall incidents and secondary recalls. The number of secondary recalls varies by recall incident.

Food recall incidents and total recalls: April 2017 - March 2022. Description follows.
Description for bar graph – April 2017 to March 2022
Food recall incidents and total recalls per fiscal year from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2022
- April 17 to March 18 April 18 to March 19 April 19 to March 20 April 20 to March 21 April 21 to March 22
Number of recall incidents 220 185 188 158 137
Number of total food recalls 422 347 560 223 248

Food recall incidents and total recalls by hazard

Food recall incidents and total recalls by hazard: April 2017 - March 2022. Description follows.
Description for bar graph – April 2017 to March 2022
Recall incidents by hazard per fiscal year from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2022
- April 17 to March 18 April 18 to March 19 April 19 to March 20 April 20 to March 21 April 21 to March 22
Allergen 84 66 66 59 51
Chemical 9 1 9 14 5
Extraneous material 42 31 30 24 17
Microbiological 75 77 77 53 61
Other 10 10 6 8 3
Total recalls by hazard per fiscal year: April 2017 - March 2022. Description follows.
Description for bar graph – April 2017 to March 2022
Total recalls by hazard per fiscal year from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2022
- April 17 to March 18 April 18 to March 19 April 19 to March 20 April 20 to March 21 April 21 to March 22
Allergen 138 150 119 72 84
Chemical 11 1 15 18 11
Extraneous material 56 45 41 29 21
Microbiological 204 140 376 94 129
Other 13 11 9 10 3

Food recall incidents and total recalls by class

Recall incidents by Class per fiscal year from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2022. Description follows.
Description for bar graph – April 2017 to March 2022
Recall incidents by Class per fiscal year from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2022
- April 17 to March 18 April 18 to March 19 April 19 to March 20 April 20 to March 21 April 21 to March 22
Class I 71 66 55 55 56
Class II 59 61 69 56 49
Class III 90 58 64 47 32
Total recalls by Class per fiscal year from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2022. Description follows.
Description for bar graph – April 2017 to March 2022
Total recalls by Class per fiscal year from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2022
- April 17 to March 18 April 18 to March 19 April 19 to March 20 April 20 to March 21 April 21 to March 22
Class I 161 184 351 106 114
Class II 135 86 123 62 95
Class III 126 78 86 55 39

Glossary

Allergen:
A food product may contain ingredients such as peanuts, milk or eggs that are not identified or are incorrectly 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 a hazard that does not fall within one of the above categories. Examples include non-permitted ingredients, nutrition concerns and potential tampering.
Date modified: