Do you recall the last food recall?

Understand the facts about food recalls to prevent food borne illnesses.

You hear about a food recall and what is your reaction? Your first thought is probably – have I recently purchased or eaten that item? Food recalls are issued for consumer safety and should not cause panic. The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family is to be informed and pay attention to the recommendations issued when a major food recall occurs.

Food recall notices are given in the news, at your local grocery store, or online at that the recall of one product does not mean all forms of that product are a potential problem.

After hearing of a food recall, check to see if you have the specific product in your home. The recall may be associated with a specific brand and not all varieties may be under the recall. Depending if the recalled item is in your pantry, refrigerator or freezer it will require you to look for different things.

The Be Food Safe campaign from the Partnership for Food Safety Education states that the key message with any food product recall is to match the details. Match the product name, brand, container codes and container size with the recall notice details. If the product details do not match the recall notice details then there is no need to be concerned or take action. The recall of one product does not mean all forms of that product are going to be a problem. If the recalled product is a fresh vegetable and you have a canned vegetable, then there is nothing to worry about. You should feel comfortable consuming that product.

If you discover that you have a recalled food product following these recommendations.

  • Do not eat the product
  • Do not give the products to others (e.g. do not give to a food pantry)
  • Do not feed pets the product as they may become sick
  • Do not open the product if it is sealed
  • Return the product to the place of purchase for a refund
  • Dispose of the product following the instructions provided in the recall notice to assure it will not be consumed by anyone.
  • Share the recall information with others, especially homebound individuals or anyone who may not access to daily papers, the internet or listen to the radio.

If you handle the recalled product, remember to wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for 20 seconds after handling the product. Michigan State University Extension promotes handwashing as one of the best prevention measures to prevent any food related illnesses.

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