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Number of food recalls per year in the U.S. has almost doubled since 2002, new Swiss Re study finds

From the Canadian Underwriter

Just over half of all food recalls cost the affected United States companies more than US$10 million, with losses of more than US$100 million possible, according to a report released on Wednesday by Swiss Re.

A single food recall can lead to severe financial loss and reputational damage for food producers. In total, 52% of all food recalls cost the affected companies more than US$10 million each, and for 5% of companies, the estimated recall cost was US$100 million. “This figure excludes the reputational damage that may take a company years to recover from,” Swiss Re noted.

Nearly 9 million Americans became sick from contaminated food in 2013 alone, with over 50,000 hospitalized and 2,377 fatalities.

But the report noted that risk management tools to ensure safe food production exist. “They must be applied and adapted to ever more complex global markets and supply chains,” Swiss Re added in a statement. “Adaptation also means taking lessons learnt to places where they are yet unknown and tailoring them to local conditions. The experience insurers gather through their claims experience is an important resource for knowledge sharing for client companies.”

Read the full article – and check out some cool infographics – here.

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