A food recall is done as a corrective measure taken by a food manufacturing or distributing company. This corrective action is done to prevent consumers from being adversely affected by a contaminated, mislabeled or bad product. A recall can be made by either the food company (voluntary recall) or the authorized government agency, in cases where the food company does not do a voluntary recall. The most common grounds for a food recall are contamination, mislabeling and unsafe products. It is important to take note that there are still a number of grounds for a food recall and they are not limited to the ones mentioned.
Improper labeling is a cause for a food recall because it misrepresents what is actually contained in a product. Consumers believe that certain ingredients may or may not be in the product based on what the label says. For instance, in the case of undeclared allergens, people will be led to thinking that the food that they are consuming does not contain any ingredient that might trigger an allergy attack. If a food containing allergens such as milk or peanut is consumed by people allergic to these types of foods, it could lead to the triggering of allergic reactions. There are even cases when allergic reactions lead to extremely serious health emergencies.
Food products that do not conform to both the company and the government’s standards are also subject to a food recall. Food standards are developed primarily to protect consumers of food products. Food safety standards are particularly important to be followed because this prevents consumers from being put at risk because of the food they eat. Substandard products are a possible cause of health risk for consumers.
Bacterial contamination is one of the most common reasons for a food recall. Bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, Staphylococcus, Clostridium botulin and Listeria are among the most common bacterial contaminants found in food. When food that is contaminated by bacteria is consumed, there is a possibility of the occurrence of bacterial infections. In some cases, bacterial infections can lead to death. One example of a possible bacterial contamination is unevisceration. Uneviscerated meat and seafood are not to be sold because of the possibility they could be contaminated by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum.
Another example of contamination is drug-contaminated foods. For instance, antibiotic drugs can contaminate the meats of animals. There are instances where poultry or other types of meats are detected with the presence of animal drugs. These meats could be unsafe for human consumption and are thus subjected to a recall.