In recognition of National Food Safety Education Month, we are presenting a four part mini-series here on the Food Bank blog. You’ll get information and ideas you can act upon to make your food and your family safer!
Here is the final installment, Part 4: Keep Your Family Safe by Staying Up to Date on Recalls
Or, an alternate title for this post: Get Your Bad Food App.
Read on, friends, there really is an app for that!
In the last post in our Food Safety Month miniseries, we’d like to talk a bit about food recalls. So far we’ve spent a bit of time talking about what you can do to keep food safe to eat. We’ve discussed how important it is to keep foods at proper temperatures, keep prep surfaces clean, and how to store your foods safely. However, sometimes food safety is out of your hands. Sometimes the way food is handled prior to you ever receiving it can compromise your safety. For this reason, it’s important that you pay attention to recall and safety alert information.
Visit the FDA Recall Page
Luckily, the FDA is doing a pretty good job at making recall information easily available to consumers. There are a few different ways you can receive the information:
Click here to view recall information in a neatly organized table. You can also use their search function to hunt down any information you may have heard about.
Sign up for the FDA’s product recall mailing list. By doing so, you’ll receive frequent updates on recalls and food safety alerts. Your info is kept private and you can unsubscribe any time.
Download the Product Recalls App. You’re on your smartphone all the time anyway, right? What could be easier than clicking on an app to receive all the info?
With so many options at your disposal, staying in the know doesn’t have to be difficult. Pay attention to the alerts and heed their mornings to ward off food borne illnesses in your family.
Why Are Foods Recalled?
Foods can be recalled for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common include:
Undeclared allergens—Companies are required to declare when their products have common allergens like nuts or milk in them. However, sometimes companies fail to provide such information. Eating Right Soy Protein burgers, for example, are under a voluntarily recall for failing to declare milk. It might not seem like a big deal, but it sure is if you or a family member has a severe milk allergy.
Consumer reported problems—Sometimes a company will begin recalling products due to consumer reports. For example, earlier this month, Chobani recalled their Greek yogurt in Twin Falls, Idaho because people had reported bloating and swelling after consuming the products. The decided the best course of action was to initiate a voluntary recall while they tried to hunt down the source of the problem.
Bacteria—Sometimes there are extreme cases when bacteria is present at a factor, endangering all the food produced there during a particular time. For example, last month in New Zealand, there was a mass recall of dairy products due to tests finding bacteria that could cause botulism.
As you can see, food alerts can vary in severity. However, it’s important that you stay in the know to protect you and your family. Remember, knowledge really is power!
Community Food Bank’s mission is to provide food, nutritional education and advocacy for our neighbors in need within San Benito County.