Monday, March 14, 2016
We often don’t know exactly where the food we buy at the grocery store comes from. Since there are many laws and processes in place concerning food and food safety, there is usually no reason to worry about the process. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration works hard to monitor food and puts several rules and regulations in place about what is acceptable. Even though most food and health items never cause any issue or have any problems, sometimes there can be a cause for concern.
A food recall can happen for many reasons. Sometimes it may need to be pulled from shelves due to packaging errors, contamination, or any other reason that is deemed unsafe to the general public. The FDA has several measures in place to warn the general public about recalls and safety alerts on products they regulate. To start, any time a major recall is issued, press releases are pushed to all major news outlets with a special focus on those located in affected regions. The news may be shared via television, print media, and the internet. Grocery stores will also be provided these press releases. You can often find a bulletin board at your local store that lists all recalls, whether voluntary or mandatory, of items that that particular store currently carries or may have carried in the past. The FDA will also post this information on their website. They even offer the ability to subscribe to updates about recalls, market withdrawals, and general safety alerts.
If you find that you have purchased and/or used a product that has been recalled by the FDA, press releases will provide further information on the next steps that you should take. Most of the time you will be able to return the product for a full refund. If you feel that you have an illness related to the recall, reach out to your doctor as soon as possible. After that, contact the manufacturer of the product to let them know that you may be ill due to their product. They will be best to provide you with the next steps you should take and how to properly file any claims that you may need to submit.
Be sure to sign up for alerts or at least to view the FDA’s site regularly to make sure that items in your home aren’t listed. Remember not to panic if you find that an item is recalled! Follow the instructions provided to you and make sure that you and your family visit the doctor if necessary. You can find the FDA’s main safety site at www.fda.gov/Safety/