What to do in the event of a food recall

We all expect certain parts of our lives to be fully regulated, monitored and constantly checked to keep us and our families safe from harm. But, sometimes things fall through the cracks and when it’s something like the food we’ve eaten or the food in our cupboards that’s the issue, it can be incredibly worrying.

There are several reasons why food could be recalled, with the most common reasons being:

  • The food has been contaminated with bacteria or pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella etc
  • The food contains foreign objects such as glass, plastic or other dangerous fragments
  • Food that has been exposed to or now contains a particular ingredient that could be dangerous to those with allergens.

Scary stuff, right? It’s normal to feel frightened at this stage, especially if you have young children or you’re living with people who are particularly vulnerable, ill or frail. Check out this blog for a recent food recall article.

So, what should you do now? Read on for what to do in the event of a food recall.

Don’t panic

Easier said than done of course, but if you remain calm and collected, you’re more likely to get through this difficult time without causing too much stress and strain on yourself and your family. You’re not likely to fall ill at this stage, and it’s comforting to know that most food companies recall products as a precautionary measure, not because people are suffering or being hospitalized. Remain calm and find out as much as you can about the product that has been recalled, check the company website for more details.

Don’t eat the food

It sounds like simple advice, but you may be surprised at how many people choose to ignore given advice and dismiss health concerns. While it’s true that the recall is simply a precautionary measure you should still act responsibly and not eat the food in question. Remember, when it comes to your health and the health of your loved ones it’s much better to be safe than sorry! Don’t be tempted to feed it to your pets either, they could also get sick.

Avoid opening it

While as tempting as it may be to open the food in question, you should exercise caution. Opening the can of food and then throwing it away could result in animals (who eat through your trash either at home or at a landfill) from getting sick. You won’t be able to see any bacteria or anything that looks untoward, so there really is no point in opening the food.

Let everyone in the family know

If you’re living with family or with a housemate, make sure they’re aware of the food recall situation and clearly state/show them the food that is at risk and that they shouldn’t eat it. Be clear so there is no confusion.

Follow the advice given

The manufacturer will give guidance as to what you should do next. Including guidance for getting your money back and disposing of the food correctly.