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Why Are Food Products Recalled By FDA

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FDA recall

Every now and then you would have come across an odd article that talks about food products recalled by FDA, sometimes you overlook these article, but the information is actually quite vital  for your health and safety.


The FDA is a body responsible for food safety as they ensure

  • Protecting the public health by assuring that foods are safe, wholesome, sanitary and properly labeled; human and veterinary drugs, and vaccines and other biological products and medical devices intended for human use are safe and effective
  • Assuring cosmetics and dietary supplements are safe and properly labelled
  • Regulating tobacco products
  • Advancing the public health by helping to speed product innovations
  • Helping the public get the accurate science-based information they need to use medicines, devices, and foods to improve their health

The organization is now opting for a more preventive approach when it come to food safety and public health. Last quarter of 2011 year, foods regulated by the FDA were recalled 50 percent more, and the leading causes were presence of allergens and microbial contaminants.


Why is a Food Product Recalled?

A food product is deemed unfit for consumption and issued a recall notice when atleast one of the following is true;

  • Discovery of an organism in a product which may make consumers sick
  • Discovery of a potential allergen in a product
  • Mislabeling or misbranding of food. For example, a food may contain an allergen, such as nuts or eggs, but those ingredients do not appear on the label.


The most common causes of food recalls by FDA are

  • Possible contamination by microbes like salmonella, listeria, Clostridium botuloinum, Stapphylococcus aureus
  • Presence of an allergen
  • Undeclared ingredient
  • Adverse reaction
  • Undeclared common food allergens like peanuts, egg, nuts, milk, soy, etc.
  • Manufacturing problem
  • Reported levels of ingredients are incorrect


How to Track FDA Recalls

FDA in an attempt to bring more transparency into the to the food recalling system has introduced a new search engine, where it much easier to follow the foods that are currently recalled as they are segregated separated into product name, product description, reason for recall, brand name, and any related info in a tabular format. The table also provides a link to the news release on each recall for more detailed information so you can get know your food products a little better.


Food For Thought

Some people are of the opinion that it is best to opt for fresh local produce rather than going for packed/processed or bulk production. The reason they quote is simple, it is easier to manage it on a small scale, suppose a life-threatening contaminant like salmonella is found in the local meat shop it is easy to warn the consumers as opposed to a big company whose products may be marketed worldwide. This gives the consumers a greater sense of security about the food they buy.


Want to know more about the initiative FDA takes to promote health and welfare in public go through our article on FDA guidelines for food consumption.


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Why Are Food Products Recalled By FDA