By now, every one of you reading this post will have been affected in some shape or form from the recent ‘Horse Meat’ scandal. Whether you have unwittingly consumed a product which has since been removed from the shelves for fear of horse contamination, or your behaviour as a consumer has become more cautious – we, as a general rule, have all been affected by ‘Product Recalls’.
Product recalls are a nightmare for both CEOs and customers – costing companies hundreds of thousands of pounds, while putting the consumers well being and health at risk. That is why, we as consumers, expect the relevant regulatory systems, and the companies themselves, to ensure all products are fit for human consumption once they hit the market. We expect vigorous tests to be carried out, and all the relevant sanitation procedures to be followed. We expect a high level of quality control at all times, but as the continuing history of product recalls grows, we know that this isn’t always the case.
Some of our most loved brands, at one stage or another in their company history, have had to recall products – some for life threatening reasons. Here are 15 product recalls that will make you question what you buy, and possibly make you think twice about your brand loyalty:
1. Bausch and Lomb
Product: Prescription Eyedrops
Arguably the biggest eye-care firm in the world made a huge manufacturing blunder involving 36,000 bottles of its prescription eye drops earlier this year, when ‘black particles’ were identified in its packs. Astoundingly these black particles turned out to be printer ink – and hospitals were asked to immediately quarantine the affected batches.
Product: No 7 Complete Quenched Body Lotion
Although no serious harm was caused by this blunder, incorrect packaging led to a recall for Boots, after its body wash was packaged into tubes of body lotion. The recall was decided, after it became clear that the intended use for the body lotion was to leave it on skin without rinsing, while the body wash was meant to be washed off immediately. By having incorrect packaging and instructions, the only option was for Boots to recall, a costly error for the company.
3. Eden Product
Product: Tropical Seed Bracelets
Decorating a bracelet with lethal tropical seeds isn’t the brightest idea, but that is exactly what Eden Product’s did with a new range of their bracelets in 2011. The seeds used were from Peru and were so deadly that even a small amount can be fatal. There is no known antidote, and some jewellers even died merely trying to drill holes through the seeds. Luckily, a keen horticulturist in Cornwall identified the seeds, and all products were immediately taken off the market.
Product: Periogaurd Mouthwash
The Periogaurd Mouthwash was mainly used to treat conditions such as severe gingivitis and after gum surgery, and was distributed through retailers, pharmacies, dental surgeries and hospitals. Those suffering weak immune systems or chronic lung conditions shouldn’t have used the product at all however, after it was discovered the product contained presence of Burkholderis Bacteria. It was removed from 12 countries instantly.
Product: Hearty Oats Bread
After launching a campaign for the benefits of the Hearty Oats Bread, Hovis were left with having to recall thousands of its loaves when glass was found inside the bread! The “likely source” for the glass was identified as refurbishment work on a storage silo, and cost the company thousands. Interestingly, product control was not much better when two months later, a mouse was found in a Hovis Best of Both loaf!
Product: Frosted and Unfrosted Mini-Wheat’s Bite-Size
A huge 2.8m packages of frosted mini-wheats bite-size and mini-wheatsunforsted bite size were pulled from the shelves by Kellogg’s after pieces of metal mesh were found inside its packets. Gladly, no injuries were reported and Kellogg’s laid the blame at the feet of a faulty manufacturing part.
Product: Kit Kat Chunky and Giant Easter Egg
After seven people found plastic inside their Kit Kat bars, Nestle recalled the product to avoid further complaint. They also recalled the Giant Kit Kat Chunky Easter Egg Collection, making it not such a Happy Easter for the company!
Product: Mazda 6
After it was discovered that yellow Sac Spiders have a certain fondness for part of the fuel system in their cars, 52,000 were recalled by Mazda so that a special spring could be installed to keep the spiders out. Strangely, it was only the four-cylinder cars that seemed to be affected.
Product: Persil Power
Having a cleaning agent so powerful it not only cleans your clothes but also bleaches them and rips them to shreds isn’t what you would ideally look for when purchasing washing powder; but is exactly what happened to Persil when they launched Persil Power way back in 1990. It was the companies’ first attempt at mixing washing powder with chemical catalysts, and while everything seemed to run smoothly in testing, it some became clear that the companies sturdy test fabrics were nowhere near as delicate as most as our own wardrobes.
Product: Various Products
The company acted quickly and professionally in 1982 when seven people died after ingesting cyanide-laced extra strength Tylenol. Fast forward to 2010 however, and things were not quite as efficient after it took the company 20 months of ‘non-serious’ complaints before they issued a broad recall on 60 million bottles of various products.
Product: Firestone Tires
Ford engineers recommended safety changes, after several models of Firestone Tires on Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers had high failure rates. These changes were ignored, and 200 deaths and 3,000 major injuries were the results. The main call of concern was the tire’s treads, which rapidly frayed away and caused the tire to disintegrate – sometimes while the car was in motion.
12. Ferroro Rocher
Product: Counterfeit Chocolate Bars – ‘Made in China’
South Korean and Chinese chocolate lovers got more than they bargained for when they bit into Ferroro Rocher’s back in 2007. Not only were the products counterfeit, they also contained live worms inside, after the larvae of a common moth somehow got into the counterfeit production process.
Product: Fisher-Price Toys
Mattel recalled around 9 million children toys, all which were made in China, in 2007, after tests discovered that some of the items had been decorated in lead paint, as well as others containing tiny magnets that small children could swallow. Eager to keep the Chinese government happy for commercial reasons, Mattel issued an apology after the recall, saying sorry for damaging the nation’s reputation.
Merck launched its signature arthritis drug in 1999, and it proved to be a hugely popular choice. Unfortunately, it also later proved to cause elevated chances of heart attacks or strokes in its users, forcing the company to withdraw it from the market in 2004. The company have since been ordered to pay billions in damages to the families of patients who died after taking Vioxx, as well as for the use of their marketing tactics which helped cover up the drugs risks.
Product: Horse contaminated Lasagne
Finally, we finish with the product which contained the most horse meat out of all products tested in the contamination scandal, the Findus Frozen Lasagne. When tested, it revealed to contain 100% horse meet and 20,000 packages of its frozen lasagnes were instantly drawn from the shelves. Although other products and companies have also fallen foul of the scandal, Findus have arguably been the most affected.
So there we have it, 15 product recalls from some of our nations favourite brands. Will it affect the way you shop in future? Will you think twice before you purchase your favourite brand? Please leave your comments and stories below.
*Image sourced from Public Domain Images.
*Case Stories adapted from an article by Real Business.