Food Recalls and how it is done
Food product may be recalled by removing them from the market if they are found to be potentially harmful, have life-threatening reactions if a consumer takes the product, or after the authorities realise the product has violated mandatory safety standards.
The recall may be initiated by the manufacturer after discovering the problem, or the government may contact the manufacturer to withdraw its product after receiving complaints from the consumer.
In the U.S, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), or Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been given the authority to oversee food products
A food recall occurs when there is believe that consumption of a product may cause illness. The food may be recalled if it is discovered that it contains an organism which risks the consumer’s health. It may also be recalled if it is found to contain an allergen. Other products are recalled if there is mislabeling or misbranding, for instance, where the manufacturer has not indicated ingredients that may cause allergies to some people. Most of the food products that are recalled are due to undeclared allergens by the manufacturer.
Before returning ensure the product details in the recall notice match the details on the food product you have bought. You should not open or consume the food and instead return it to the store where you purchased for a refund. You are also required to dispose the food as instructed to ensure that no one else will consume it. If already opened, the consumers are advised to cease consuming the food and to clearly follow the specific guidance in recall announcement. Even when it has taken you time to learn of the recall, it is recommended you that you should return the product.
If you want to report a problem with a food product, you can call the toll-free1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or report online if the food product is meat, poultry, or processed egg. If you want to report a problem with food in a restaurant you should notify the Health Department in your area.
If the product is non-meat e.g cereals, fish, fruit juice etc. report to any Food and Drug Administration (FDA) office in your area or call:1-888-723-3366.
If you are reporting a product, you will be required to state the original packaging, tell the harmful substance that you have discovered, and have a portion of the food. Other information you should tell is the location of the store where you bought the product.
You can also make a direct complain to the store or the manufacturer if you do no want to contact the USDA or FDA.
You can learn about food recalls from the USDA website http://www.fsis.usda.gov/ or the FDA on http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm248864.htm. You can also subscribe to their e-mails to get the information about the food products that have been recalled.