Product recall insurance has found itself in the limelight once again this week after a South Australian retailer was forced to pull its products from the shelves.
Charlesworth Nuts has recalled nine of its products – including Christmas cakes, muffins and gift baskets – after SA Health received complaints that metal fragments had been found in dried apricots supplied by the firm.
“Metal fragments can be potentially dangerous and cause injury if ingested,” SA Health food director Dr Jenkins told the ABC. Jenkins also added that, while the cause of the contamination is still being investigated, there is no evidence to suggest malicious intent.
The recall is just the latest in a string of high-profile cases across Australia, including the recent pet-food saga and strawberry crisis.
Stephen Elms, national head of food production at Gallagher, said the incident serves as a perfect example of why product recall insurance is so important for the sector.
“There has been a spike in food producers seeking product recall insurance coverage,” Elms said. “For this sector, product recall cover is of paramount importance and would respond if products have been tampered with and need to be withdrawn or recalled off shelves.”
While the deliberate tampering of food is a rare occurrence, product recall can happen regardless of the safety nets put in place and Elms said brokers play a key role in communicating this risk to their clients.
“A food producer should look to work with their broker to better understand their supply chain, find where the gaps are in their cover and work out how they would respond to such an incident in future,” he said.