Running on Ice: Why are there so many food recalls?

Hello, and welcome to the coolest community in freight! Here you’ll find the latest information on warehouse news, tech developments and all things reefer madness-related. I’m your controller of the thermostat, Mary O’Connell. Thanks for having me!

All thawed out

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Lately it seems every grocery run is followed a few days later by a call to check your groceries for a possible recall. In the last month alone there have been recalls for frozen beef pies from Marie Callender’s; frozen berries from a variety of brands; Tostitos avocado salsa; and a few lesser known products. According to Food Safety News, “the total number of ‘units’ recalled under the authority of the FDA increased by 700 percent in 2022 compared to 2021.” Forty-three percent of all food recalls have been undeclared allergens over the last five years. 

The good news is that since most of these recalls are voluntary and not linked to any illness, there isn’t actually an increase in foodborne illnesses. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data suggests that rates of foodborne illnesses have remained relatively stable in recent years, affecting about 48 million Americans annually.

Through the advancement of technology, the CDC has been able to detect strains of bacteria that contain the potential for foodborne illnesses earlier. The CDC said this has enabled it to detect possible outbreaks with more precision; investigate and solve outbreaks while they are still small; and link ill patients to likely sources of infection.

Temperature checks

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Square cheese pizza day in lunchrooms across the country is about to get a lot cooler. Polar King International released an industry report highlighting trends and innovations for cold storage in the educational setting. As parents continue to push for healthier options in schools and Oscar Meyer inks a deal to have Lunchables in K-12 schools across the country, demand in that walk-in is going to hit new heights. 

The walk-in cold storage industry already has seen significant growth, especially in the educational setting. Polar King found in its report that the balance between energy efficiency and staying within the size parameters of the school cafeteria can result in some custom modifications that don’t blow a district’s budget. The report said: “Looking to the future, the walk-in cold storage industry is poised for ongoing evolution to meet the increasing demands of educational settings. Anticipated trends include advancements in temperature monitoring and automation technologies, further integration of energy-efficient solutions, expanded customization options tailored to specific educational requirements, and an ongoing emphasis on safety and compliance standards.”

Food and drugs

(Image: TikTok)

Guess what’s back? Thanks to millennials and Gen Z, cottage cheese has seen a resurgence as a trendy protein additive as one serving contains 12 grams of protein. There are recipes for adding cottage cheese to ice cream and other dishes taking over the internet. This recent demand spike has caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Agriculture cold storage report. According to market analyst Robin Schmahl, “American cheese increased 10.6 million lbs., Swiss cheese was up 2 million lbs., the other cheese category was up 9.4 million lbs. and total cheese was up 21.9 million lbs. So that aspect of the cold storage report was friendly to the market.”

Cottage cheese sales are up 16% year over year and given the trend of blending it into recipes for a boost of protein, it doesn’t look like sales slowing down anytime soon. 

Cold chain lanes


Outbound tender lead times for reefer shipments are averaging about 4.5 days, meaning loads booked in the back half of the week will likely not get picked up until late next week, especially with the Fourth of July falling on a Tuesday. There are a lot of markets where we are seeing rejection rates increase. Carriers should try to drive some of those spot market rates up, especially for month end. Shippers and brokers should try to hold the line when it comes to rate increases. 

June marks the end of the second quarter for many shippers. As typical with quarter ends, there will be a spike in rates as shippers and brokers are more aggressive about moving freight. 

Is SONAR for you? Check it out with a demo!

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Wanna chat in the cooler? Shoot me an email with comments, questions or story ideas at

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Source: freightwaves - Running on Ice: Why are there so many food recalls?
Editor: Mary O'Connell