Target, the multinational retail giant recently recalled a brand of candy canes citing that they can cause injury on consumption. The candy canes, produced by The Fabulous Food Company and manufactured in China, were being sold across Australia between September 16, 2018 and January 17, 2019.

The products have been recalled as a potential plastic contamination is being feared. Buyers who have not yet consumed the lollies have been requested to return the items at their nearest Target or Target Country store. Buyers would be paid a full refund on producing a purchase receipt.

According to experts, at least one food item in recalled each week in Australia. Australia’s food regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), coordinates food recalls across the country and almost 17% of all food recalls are due to the presence of foreign matters. Plastic is one of the most common kind of foreign matter along with metal and glass.

Undeclared allergens in food is also another factor that can lead to serious food recalls. In fact, nearly 37% of the food recalls are due to the presence of peanut, egg, dairy or gluten in foods that can cause severe allergies in people. In correct packaging, faulty labelling or simple contamination can lead to such allergens to be present in food. For instance, in 2015, various coconut milk and coconut water products were recalled in Australia as they contained cow’s milk, but their labels did not declare the fact. This unfortunately led to one infant death and several people suffering from anaphylactic reactions.

Incidentally 28% of food recalls are caused by microbial contamination which include bacterial, viral or parasitic contamination. Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella and E. coli. Frozen vegetables are most prone to microbial contamination and in 2017 major supermarkets recalled vegetables under multiple due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. While Listeria monocytogenes is deemed harmful to anyone ingesting it, pregnant women, unborn children, people with low immune systems and the elderly can be extremely harmed by the same.