Food Recalls Episode 10
Transcripts from podcast
Hello, hello and welcome to the simple organic guide show where we talk about everything and anything in the natural and organic living space.
I’m your host, Jan Davis, coming to you from the southern tier of Western New York.
Today is June 28th, 2018 episode 10 food recalls – the who, what, why, and what you can do about it to protect yourself. Plus lots of other information.
While I’m thinking about it and you should be to go to our website at simpleorganicguide.com for weekly information, recipes, and of course this podcast. If you haven’t signed up for our E-info weekly email, do so now. I mean it. Stop, pause the podcast and sign up. Then come back. Why? Because then you’ll never miss another week of Simple Organic Guide information. Plus you also receive random food back each week. Hey, why not right?
Do you have a friend or relative that likes to freak out about food recalls, or at least tell you about them? There is nothing wrong with staying informed about food recalls. After all, they do make people sick sometimes and they can expose you to unwanted… You fill in the blank what you don’t want to be exposed to.
In my world, it’s usually my mom who contacts me about a food recall. Usually she’s not sure if it’s correct, but she heard so-and-so say that it was recalled or she heard it on the radio or someone told them that they heard it on the radio or who knows.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have accurate information about your food recalls? Well, now you can on the show notes at simpleorganicguide.com/episode10 there are links so that you can connect directly to the FDA or the USDA and you will get updated emails when food is being recalled and why?
So who tells the public about recalls? In the United States, it’s the USDA, FSIS aka United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Services and the FDA Food Drug Administration. The FSIS regulates meat, poultry, and process egg products. The FDA is in charge of basically everything else.
So what is a food recall? It is when there is something inaccurate about the labeling or processing of your food. For instance, if it’s a pepperoni pizza but there’s no pepperoni on it, it would be a recall, or if it was a cheese pizza, but pepperoni was put onto it, that would also trigger a recall. The other reason there is a recall is because something is in your food or has happened to your food that is a health risk like Ecoli or Staph or something in the department of somebody might get sick or possibly die.
Currently recalls are voluntary.
Yes, voluntary by the manufacturer, meaning if the manufacturer finds out that there is something wrong with the packaging or what’s inside or something that’s the food’s been exposed to, they can call for a recall that and what they’re doing is they’re asking all the places that their food has been distributed to bring it back. They also contact the government and they put it out on these websites. Sometimes it goes into the news so that if people have the food that’s being recalled, they can return it to the grocery store or wherever you bought it from.
According to the USDA a recall is voluntary, as I’ve said. However, there are four ways that products can be discovered as being needed to be recalled, but again, the government initially, even if they find something will go back to the company and say, you need to do a voluntary recall.
Think about this. Doesn’t it look better for the manufacturer and government if they say, this is a voluntary recall instead of a mandatory recall? Think about that.
The four ways that unsafe products can be discovered are through the distributor or the manufacturer giving information to the government that something is hazard hazardous or labeled incorrectly. They can also get information from test results that is received by the government as part of sampling programs which indicate that there is something wrong with the packaging it’s misbranded or there’s something like ecoli in it. The third way is that there are field inspectors that go out and check different areas as routine and they will discover on safe labeling, practices, food, those type of things. The fourth way food can be found contaminated or need to be recalled are through state and local public health departments. If somebody goes to the emergency room and they’re sick and they deem it’s from food. The health department goes out investigate and they must how the US government that there is a problem, either the FDA or the USDA. The CDC, the Center for Disease Control and prevention also can be notified and can also step in.
How our recalls classified? The FDA doesn’t have a specific recall classification like the fs I s does the FDA determines what their recall is and lets the public know the FSIS has three different classifications.
Class 1 recall which is a health hazard situation, which there is a reasonable probability that eating the food will cause health problems or death.
Class 2 recall involves the potential health hazard situation in which there is a remote probability or an adverse health issue from eating the food.
Class 3 recall involves a situation in which eating the food will not cause adverse health consequences usually due to mislabeling.
So how often are food recalled since January 21st, just seven days ago. There have been five recalls through the FSIS. They include class three, class two and two that they do not tell you what the classification is on the main page. You have to go in and read it. From the FDA website there have been three in the last seven days. And they include undeclared almonds in an item, potential salmonella contamination in two of the items.
Potential. That cracks me up. Was it or was it not expose says to Salmonella. We think it was. We didn’t find it. I’m guessing you can think about this if they’re doing a recall, they’ve found something, but they’re not telling us.
We know there are recalls. People are human mistakes happen. Simple recall such as not having the pepperoni on your pizza that’s labeled pepperoni pizza or having the pepperoni and cheese pizza. But it’s still the information that is incorrect.
But what can you do about limiting the amount of recalls that affect you or dealing with food that you have, that has been recalled?
If something has been recalled that you’ve bought, the grocery store will have a list of what items and the numbers, the UPC sees, the lot numbers so you can check to make sure – yes you haven’t – no you don’t, and you can bring it back to the store. They will refund you your money.
In today’s age. I’ve heard that people actually get emails like if you’ve used it at your favorite store and you have a bonus card, they have your emails and you will get an email saying, hey, this has been recalled. For some of the recalls, there is nothing you can do. You can’t help if there’s pepperoni and there’s not supposed to be. What about your meats in this salmonella? Well, if you cook your food very, very well, most likely you will kill anything that is in your meat or something that you can cook. It’s not guaranteed, but it could help. The number one way I like to prevent having to worry about all the recalls. Yes, I’m on the list. I get the recalls, but most of the time they don’t affect me because I don’t eat a lot of processed food.
The more food you eat that is processed and packaged, the more chance you have of having an issue with that item. Think about it. The more ingredients in your food, the more chance of a mistake happening. The other way because I’ve heard of a lot of recalls on packaged lettuce. That was a big one from out west that I heard about recently, is to buy everything fresh and as local as possible. Most times you’re not going to have an issue from a local grower. I’m not saying you’re not going to, but most likely they are more mindful of what they’re doing versus a huge agricultural conglomeration that is cutting salad, throwing it into bags and shipping it off.
If you’re buying locally, you’re buying from a smaller producer and it’s more one-on-one. You’re also getting fresher food.
Can you go overboard with worrying about all of the recalls? Yes, but you should be mindful that they happen all the time. Read your packaging and your ingredients and look what’s inside the packaging before you eat. And of course my opinion, eat local, eat fresh, be healthier.
Unless you grow all of your own food and make all of your own food from scratch. There is a chance for cross-contamination and human mistakes in your food. Staying informed about your food is a really good idea. Going crazy about recalls. Oooh well, it can get a little bit crazy, but try not to.
But now you can stay informed by going to the show notes at simpleorganicguide.com/episode 10. And sign up with the government to get the recalls straight to your inbox if you choose
Don’t forget to subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts so you never miss an episode.
Questions, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will email you back.
Make sure you visit our website, simpleorganicguide.com and sign up for our newsletter so you never miss another bit of information.
This is Jan Davis for the Simple Organic Guide show where we talk about everything in the organic and natural living environment.
Thanks for joining me.
Remember, it’s your life live it how you want.
Have a great week.
Until next week.