When health officials suspect a
foodborne illness, quickly finding the source of contamination is critical.
Contaminated products must be removed
from markets and consumers’ kitchens as soon as possible to reduce further
illness. However, unless the source is correctly identified, the contaminated
product cannot be removed without also needlessly removing similar products
that aren’t suspected of causing the illness. That’s why its essential to be
able to identify and trace the sources of contaminated products.
If a produce item is suspected of being
contaminated, the supplier recalls the product. Although most recalls are
voluntary, others are required by government agencies such as the FDA. At the
same time as the recall, suppliers generally implement corrective actions to
protect consumers from potentially adverse effects of the product.
Recalls not only protect consumers from
getting ill, they also protect companies and the industry from economic losses
and losses of public confidence. A successful recall requires a company to plan
ahead so that they can act fast, communicate effectively, and perform a
post-recall assessment. For these reasons, it is important to have a recall
plan in place before a recall is needed.
The resources below explain recalls in
more detail and outline the key parts of a recall plan. Use them to learn more
and develop effective recall plans for specific operations.