Food Outbreaks and Recalls
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Food Poisoning Information
Latest Outbreaks & Recalls
What is a Food Recall?
A food recall is issued by a company to inform consumers that they have—or could have—unwanted or unsafe products in their homes. Recalls are usually voluntary, which means the company issues them on its own initiative and not because of any government requirement. It is important to understand that even if a manufacturer voluntarily recalls a product, that does not mean that it has been proven to be definitely unsafe. Instead, there is information to suggest the product may be unsafe and could potentially pose a threat to consumers.
What should I do if a food recall is announced?
First and foremost, look through your cupboards and check to see whether you have any of the recalled products in your home. If so, stop using them immediately and consider throwing them out or returning them to where they were purchased. You can also register as an affected consumer by going to the appropriate website for a recalled product. There, you will find out how the recall is affecting consumers and any instructions that have been provided about receiving compensation or exchanging affected products.
What should I do if I am unsure whether a food product in my home has been recalled?
If you are unsure about whether a product in your home has been recalled, contact the manufacturer to ask if it has been affected by a food recall. If so, stop using that product immediately and consider throwing it out or returning it to where you bought it. You can also check in with a local grocer if a product in your cupboard is now known to be unsafe.
What is an outbreak?
An outbreak can be defined as the occurrence of cases of the same disease, or an increase in incidence over time, or geographic area. A foodborne outbreak associated with a food product is often defined as two or more confirmed cases of a specific illness linked to consumption of a common food source.
Federal, state, and local agencies work together to determine the source of outbreaks, and in many cases a food recall is mandated to protect public health. In other cases, the agency might just issue guidelines for consumers to follow until a recall can be put into place.
Seek medical attention
If you have a fever over 102 degrees, bloody stool, or other severe symptoms you should seek medical attention immediately.