Recall These Thoughts

High Compliance Rate for Food Safety is Not the Full Story

A 98.7% compliance rate is fine. That’s a great compliance rate. But it really obscures the deeper implications.

  1. These tests have no real relationship to quantity of material that is in or out of compliance.
  2. Just because the probability of non-compliance (and by extension, contamination) is very low (1.3%) doesn’t have any bearing on the potential consequences.

As fatal, or at least monumental food recalls remind us every year or so, that 1.3% failure rate is much more important than the corresponding 98.7% success rate. It is worth noting that the 2011-2012 year to which these statistics correspond is the same year in which Canada experienced its largest recall in history.