If it feels as if you have been seeing more food recalls in the news now than ever, it is because you have.
Since 2013, food recalls have increased dramatically with 125 incidents in the past year.
Now, these food recalls do not necessarily mean that the food we are consuming is getting worse. Instead, manufacturers are getting better at spotting errors in their products.
“What happens with these recalls is that it happens at the manufacturing aspect so at the get-go,” Nueces County Health District Division Manager Lauren Rabe said.
What some people may not realize is that these food recalls are on a voluntary basis with the manufacturer. However, if the manufacturer does not recall their product, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Services can seize the company’s products.
There are four different reasons that food can be subject to recall according to the USDA:
- The company that manufactured or distributed the food informs FSIS of the potential hazard.
- Test results received by FSIS as part of its sampling program indicate that the products are adulterated, or, in some situations, misbranded.
- FSIS field inspectors and program investigators, in the course of their routine duties, discover unsafe or improperly labeled foods.
- Epidemiological data submitted by state or local public health departments, or other Federal agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Center for Disease Control (CDC), reveal unsafe, unwholesome or inaccurately labeled food.
However, there is no need to worry about your food being contaminated. Rabe says that if you stay updated with the USDA FSIS alerts, it will tell you all you need to know about different food recalls.