Food recalls happen almost daily and many do not get a lot of publicity. In a majority of recalls, it is the manufacturer that issues a voluntary recall.
Manufacturers will work with the FDA or USDA to help determine the reason for the recall and to fix the issue. If foodborne illnesses have occurred, the CDC and state health departments will also be involved.
As consumers, it is important to pay attention to recalls to eliminate the chance of getting sick. Recall announcements give specific information about the food recall including the type of food, brand, package size, date codes, manufacturer codes, shelf life dates, distribution locations, and other pertinent information.
If you have a recalled food, take it back to where it was purchased for a refund, or throw it away. Do not take the chance of eating it or feeding it to animals.
Learn more at www.foodsafety.gov/recalls/index.html.
By: Ashley Svaty
Posted in September You Asked It!
This summer, pre-cut melons were recalled due to Salmonella contamination. This included pre-cut cantaloupe, watermelon, and a fruit salad mix sold in grocery stores in nine states. While Salmonella is usually connected to meat, poultry, or eggs, it may seem unusual for melons. But, melons are not like many other fruits.
Most fruits are considered high acid, or low in acidity with a pH averaging between 3.0 and 4.0. Melons have a pH between 5.0 and 7.0. This makes them a low acid food. Salmonella thrives in a pH range of 4.1-9.0. So melons can support the growth of Salmonella. It can also grow in a temperature range of 43-115°F. Therefore, in this recall, if temperature abuse occurred at any point, Salmonella would grow.
Good handling practices are your best defense. Always scrub and wash melons before cutting them open. Store cut fruit in the refrigerator. Keep it separate from raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs. Use clean utensils to serve fresh melons. Wash your hands before and after handling melons or other produce. When buying pre-cut melons or other fresh produce, be sure they are cold and refrigerate promptly.
By: Ashley Svaty