Article / Risk Management
Longer, Less Controlled Food Supply Chains Leave Products Open to Recall

Food contamination and recalls are on the rise around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 48 million Americans suffer - and 3,000 die - every year from domestically acquired foodborne illnesses.

With fresh produce increasingly imported from overseas, supply chains are becoming longer and less certain. In response to these issues, Ian Harrison, a partner at Lockton UK and world practice leader for Product Recall, recently told Risk & Insurance magazine he sees the product recall insurance market becoming more sophisticated with increased capacity.

"It's easy to say you know who your suppliers are, but it's more difficult to show your suppliers and their subcontractors are following your rules and your contractual requirements," said Harrison.

In a story in, Harrison points out globally franchised restaurants create a system of quality control meant to offer stability to the food supply, but if the system fails, it could create significant exposures.

"I know of a well-known fast food chain that buys all its burger buns from two suppliers in the whole of the UK. So if there was a problem with either of those suppliers there would be a massive knock-on impact," said Harrison.

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