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The safety of the U.S. Food Supply is one of the significant mandates of both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control.
These agencies investigate illness outbreaks in the United States to find a common cause. In this article we would be explaining what food recall is and what foods are on recall in history.
What is Food Recall.
So before we know what foods are on recall in 2022, let’s know what Food recall is. Food products can be subject to recalls for safety and sanitation concerns. However, some food producers are so big that they could significantly impact the country.
This can lead to millions of dollars in lost revenue, including product destruction, sanitary improvements, and healthcare costs.
What causes Food Recall
So before we know what foods are on recall in 2022, let’s know the causes of food recall.
1. Cross Contamination
Multiple food manufacturers may process different products in one factory. Cross-contamination can occur when numerous products are processed in the same factory.
Cross-contamination can sometimes be unavoidable. Manufacturers can sell cross-contaminated foods, provided the potential allergens are listed on the label.
According to the USDA report, undeclared allergens were responsible for 58 out of 150 food recalls in 2015. Milk was identified as the most serious offender.
Recalls from pathogen-contaminated products are highly damaging because they affect all consumers, not just those with specific allergies.
Listeria, E. E. coli, and Salmonella are the most prevalent, resulting in 17 food recalls in 2015, according to the USDA report.
These pathogens are most likely to be found in foods such as a variety of foods.
- Soft cheeses, deli meats, and other foods that aren’t usually cooked can be found in deli meats.
- Eggs, poultry, and undercooked beef are all acceptable.
- Raw fruits and veggies
- Shellfishes, raw or undercooked
- Low-acid home-canned foods include beets, asparagus, green beans, and green beans.
3. Physical Contamination
A recall is necessary when non-food items are found within food products. Physical contaminants include metal, plastic, wood, and insect body parts. If food is chemically or biologically contaminated, it can also be considered physically contaminated.
A Food Standards Agency report revealed that metal (37) and pests (23) were the most frequent malefactors in physical contamination incidents for 2012, with plastic/glass (10).
How to Prevent Food Recalls
So before we know what foods are on recall in 2022, let’s know how to food recall.
1. Conduct pre-receipt quality inspections
Before you ship an ingredient to your warehouse, confirm its quality. Pre-receipt inspections can catch contamination upstream of your production facility before it has a chance to cause damage to other components and equipment.
2. Ensure quality throughout the entire production process
Pre-receipt is different from the end of quality checks. You must ensure quality control at all stages of the production process to avoid recalls.
These checks should be part of your standard operating procedures. Advanced features allow you to create and enforce approval barriers, stopping a process until it passes a critical test.
You should perform checks as part of your production process and periodically audit your quality control procedures to determine 1) the effectiveness and 2) how consistent they are.
3. Everything is traceable
Consistent traceability not only helps to prevent recalls but also simplifies them. Uncertainty about the affected products is worse than identifying a recall-worthy issue.
By knowing what is at stake, you can target a targeted recall instead of a larger (and more expensive) one. If you are confident that no suspect products have been delivered, you may be able even to stop a recall from occurring.
Good traceability software can help you stop recalling products because you need to find out if they are affected. Scanners and barcodes are a great help. They make it easier to trace all items and eliminate transcription errors.
4. Build strong relationships with your suppliers and partners
Formal agreements should clearly outline your expectations and the consequences if they still need to be met. To ensure that they meet their obligations, visit their plants and get to know their employees.
These relationships are more critical when there is a cold chain to keep. A break in the cold chains upstream from your facility can cause contamination that could be difficult to detect until too late. Please make sure you work with the right partners and ensure they can meet your expectations.
It is always good to have these expectations written down. Get your lawyers involved to ensure your rights are protected.
5. Use the right equipment and maintain it properly
To reduce the risk of contamination, choose non-absorbent materials. Because they are easier to clean, use equipment, and work areas with smooth edges and rounded corners.
Follow strict cleaning and validation procedures and follow them. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and regulations to maintain the equipment. The software can also help you establish and enforce hygiene protocols.
What Foods Are on Recall in 2022
So now let’s know what foods are on recall in 2022.
1. E. coli in Spinach
In 2006, bagged and bulk Spinach was linked to one of the most common foodborne illnesses. In total, 199 people from 26 states came into contact with an extremely dangerous strain of E.coli. E.coli resulted in 102 hospitalizations, three deaths, and 31 people suffering from a severe form of kidney disease called hemolytic-uremic syndrome. This can lead to death.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the FDA took swift action to triage the situation. They recalled all fresh Spinach and removed it from restaurants and stores. This prompted farmers to adopt stricter guidelines to prevent future outbreaks.
2. Salmonella at Peanut Corporation of America
A Salmonella Typhimurium epidemic erupted at the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of America in 46 states, leaving 714 people with serious illnesses.
The outbreak, caused by PCA ingredients, was pulled from shelves by the FDA. Food Processing stated that the company’s executives knew of the outbreak but chose to distribute the food anyway.
Soon after, the Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law. This legislation introduced regulations within FDA that aim to prevent, not just respond to, adverse food processing incidents – partly in response to this grave health violation.
3. Listeria Outbreak at Jensen Farms
One of the most severe outbreaks of Listeria occurred in 2011 when cantaloupes originating from Jensen Farms were traced back. CNN reports that investigators declared the outbreak “preventable” after discovering that Jensen Farms had stopped using antimicrobial washing, which led to cross-contamination.
Food Safety News reported 147 illnesses in 28 states, 43 deaths, and one miscarriage due to infection. In October 2013, the Jensen Brothers settled with victims and filed for bankruptcy.
4. Listeria Outbreak at Sara Lee
In 1998, around 15 million pounds of Sara Lee meat were recalled because it contained Listeria bacteria. This bacteria can cause bloodstream infection in pregnant women and those with immunocompromised conditions.
Hot dogs and deli meats containing the bacteria were distributed from one Bill Mar plant. They infected 101 people, causing six miscarriages and fifteen deaths.
Further investigation revealed a high probability of the outbreak being prevented.
The Chicago Tribune reported that management at Sara Lee has known about the presence of Listeria meats since 1997. They stated that workers were told to keep the laboratory results in a separate file “that was to be withheld by the USDA.” According to The New York Times, the company pleaded guilty in 2001 to the victims’ class action lawsuit and paid $4.4 million.
5. Hepatitis Linked to Townsend Farms
Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Mix was made from Pomegranate Seeds. They were imported from Turkey. The seeds had been contaminated by Hepatitis A.
This infection can spread to the liver through contact with others. Food Safety News reported 162 cases of the disease in 10 states. This led to 71 people being hospitalized.
Townsend Farms issued a press release to confirm the connection between their product and the infection. They also gave a voluntary recall for the berry mixture. The FDA did not find any contaminants in the domestic farm operations.