What to Do When Faced With Food Recalls

There seems to be a growing number of food recalls these days. We hear about them in the news and when visiting our local grocer. From romaine lettuce to organic baby foods, and hot dogs, the list goes on and on with foods that are unsafe to eat. So what do you do when you learn that you might have a recalled food at home?

What is a Food Recall?

Before we get into what you should do, let’s learn a bit more about what exactly constitutes a food recall. A food recall is a voluntary response from a manufacturer or supplier. There are typically two reasons food is recalled. The most common reason for recalls and alerts is when food packaging is incorrect. It might have left off important allergen information, or misleading claims. The other main reason for food recalls is because the food has the potential of being hazardous if consumed.

If you have purchased a food item that has a recall alert, here are the steps you need to take to make sure you and your family stay safe:

Stay Calm

As mentioned above, a food recall doesn’t necessarily mean that the food is causing sickness. It might just be something as simple as mislabeling. It is important to stay calm and investigate further. If you just learned that something you’ve purchased has a recall notice, don’t panic! Do a bit of research to learn more. Click To Tweet

Check the FDA Recall Page

After learning about a food and safety alert, it is important to get more information from the FDA’s (Food and Drug Administration) web page. Their website will list what foods have been voluntarily recalled, where it was sold, as well as the reason and issue for the market withdrawal. If it is merely a mislabeled product, there is no need to be alarmed and the product will be fine to finish eating–as long as the missing ingredients aren’t something you or a family member are allergic to.

Check Your Food Product

Recalled products are very specific and the FDA will give you information on the company, as well as which UPC and lot numbers included in the recall. Check your packaging to see if it is indeed one of the recalled items. If your item is part of the recall and involves dangerous microorganisms, such as listeria or salmonella, return the product to the store you purchased it from.

Clean Your Kitchen

After learning why your food product has been recalled, it is a good idea to give your kitchen a deep cleaning–especially when bad bacteria is involved. Wash all cookware, cutting boards, utensils, and countertops that the recalled food touched. Clean everything with hot, soapy water first, and then wipe them down with a diluted bleach solution to completely sanitize the area. If you stored the recalled food in your refrigerator, it is also a good idea to give it a good cleaning, as well.

Consider Microbial Testing

In situations where bad bacteria can cause health threats, consider conducting household microbial testing to make sure that nothing is lurking in your home. This is the most proactive step in keeping your home safe and sanitized. This is especially important for people who must manage a chronic disease or those suffering from autoimmune disorders.

Staying Safe With Food Recalls

Food recalls are common and something that we all need to pay attention to. Check the FDA’s food recall page, or FoodSafety.gov to be alerted to new and potentially dangerous food recalls.  

To learn more about what you need to do when faced with a food recall, Contact Us.

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