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What to do after a food item recall

December 5, 2015

Residents of Kentucky may someday find that they have accidentally purchased an item that has been recalled, or that they bought an item and it was recalled soon after. What should be done if people suspect that they may have purchased a recalled item?

According to Federal Food Safety Information, there are several identification steps to go through first. Food recalls are very specific. For example, the product type, size and the date that the product was created can determine whether or not it needs to be thrown away. The sell-by date should be compared against the sell-by date of the recalled product. If the batches don’t match up, the product may be kept.

Next, people should identify why the food item was recalled in order to determine what types of risks they may be facing. The three most common reasons for recall include:

  •          Improper labelling
  •          Foreign objects inside the product
  •          Bacteria in the product

Bacteria can cause illnesses or food poisoning. Foreign objects are usually the easiest to detect and can sometimes cause harm if swallowed. Improper labeling can lead to allergy issues if certain allergens were not labelled, or if new allergens were discovered in a food item.

Finally, people can check to see if any other products by the same brand are also being recalled. The Food Safety and Inspection Service has archived information on all food recalls, as well as the current and ongoing recalls. This can be relied on when determining if a product needs to be returned to the store or manufacturer.