QMT News: July 2008
Product recalls jump 35% in UK

New research from Navigator Customer Management has found that the  amount of product recalls issued in the UK has been soaring over the
last few years, rising from 112 in 2004 to 253 in 2007, an increase of  125% in just four years.

Non-food consumer goods have seen recalls climb  eightfold from just 18 in 2004 to 161 in 2007.

Recent high-profile product recalls such as the Cadbury salmonella scare  in 2006, (estimated to have cost as much as £20million), Mattel’s recall  of excess lead paint in toys (cost: $30million) and Sony’s withdrawal of  laptop batteries (cost: $429 million according to research firm Kendall)  have served to underline the dangers that companies face.

The biggest reason for product recalls was health risks (such as  chemical or biological risks caused by lead paint on toys or  contamination of cosmetics), which accounted for 21% of all non-food  consumer product recalls. This was followed by risk of choking or  suffocation (19%), risk of fire (14%) and risk of electric shock (14%).

Toys made up the largest percentage of non-food consumer product recalls  (31%), with electrical goods (25%) also accounting for a large proportion.
The report claimed that the increase could be ascribed to several  factors. Firstly, new product safety legislation introduced in 2005  requires manufacturers to inform both the authorities and consumers of  any potential risk from their products. Secondly, consumers and  authorities are increasingly aware of potential hazards. Thirdly,  manufacturers are increasingly sourcing ingredients, components and  packaging from further afield where they have less control over the  supply chain and legislation may not be wholly in line with that of Europe.


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