INDIANAPOLIS, Nov 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS (NASDAQ: SRCL) Q3 Recall Index, released today, highlights the influence of today's rapid pace of innovation on recall activity, with technology-related recalls in medical devices, consumer goods and automotive industries. Technical innovation has also contributed to higher recall volumes in the food industry as improved bacterial detection methods have identified more contaminated products. Medical device recalls reached their highest level since 2000, due in large part to software issues, according to the latest Q3 2016 U.S. Recall Index. The race to innovate more advanced medical devices no doubt improves quality of life for many patients. But advancements are also vulnerable to recalls. Of the 116 million medical devices recalled last quarter (representing a 187 percent increase), more than 48 percent were due to software or mislabeling errors. In the food industry, innovations in detecting bacterial contamination contributed to the highest recall levels since 2010, but also contributed to an improvement in food health safety. Food companies are employing new technology to detect contaminants that previously evaded earlier testing methods. "The medical device and food industries show how innovation works from both ends of the recall process," said Michael Good, vice president, Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS. "Improvements in medical devices through software can lead to recalls, but also better medical care. Food producers are pulling back more product but the food supply is safer as a result. Though innovation can be a challenge in the short run, in the long run consumers will be better off for it." Not all market recalls trended upward in Q3, the research found. The seemingly endless cycle of automotive-related recalls actually declined to its lowest point this year, with a 69 percent drop in recalled units. One interesting finding: while defective airbags have dominated the headlines, seatbelts were the top issue driving automotive recalls this past quarter.