Food recalls are – no exaggeration – so nearly an everyday occurrence these days that, for the most part, consumers scarcely notice them.
That doesn’t make sense? Sure it does: It points to how efficiently the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) gets the word, then gets the word out to product distributors and retailers.
A case in point: Yesterday, the FSIS issued the following press release:
WASHINGTON, May 17, 2019 – Caito Foods LLC., an Indianapolis, Ind. establishment, is recalling approximately 1,767 pounds of salad with chicken products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The products contain soy, a known allergen, which is not declared on the product label.
The ready-to-eat salads with chicken items were produced on May 12 through May 15, 2019. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF only)]
- 13.5-oz. plastic square bowl packages containing “Greek Salad with Chicken with Chicken Breast & Red Wine Olive Oil Vinaigrette Dressing” and Sell By dates ranging from 05/18/19 through 05/21/19 represented on the label.
- 11.25-oz. plastic square bowl packages containing “Tuscan Style Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken With Grilled White Chicken Tossed In Pesto” and Sell By dates ranging from 05/18/19 through 05/21/19 represented on the label.
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “P-39985” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to Kroger retail locations in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio.
The problem was discovered by the recalling firm during label verification activities.
There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.
FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ refrigerators. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify that recalling firms are notifying their customers of the recall and that actions are being taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.
Consumers with questions about the recall can contact Caito Foods LLC.’s Consumer Feedback Line at (844) 467-7278. Members of the media with questions about the recall can contact Meredith Gremel, Organizational Communications, Spartan Nash, at (616) 878-2830.
Spartan Nash is described by Wikipedia as “SpartanNash is an American food distributor and grocery store retailer headquartered in Byron Center, Michigan. In terms of revenue, it is the largest food distributor serving military commissaries and exchanges in the United States.”
As the press release notes, the recall affects product distributed to stores of one retailer, Kroger – the nation’s largest supermarket company – to stores in in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio.
Rest assured, Kroger got the word before that press release went out – and it promptly ensured that none of the potentially affected product made it to display cases.
That’s why consumers, and consumer-serving media outlets, seldom actually need to raise red flags about a potential allergen or whatever in this or that batch of Product X: The word’s already out where it needs to be, across the distribution chain, and the problem’s been dealt with.
The cause of the problem is another issue: How did it happen, what the company had to do to ensure the issue won’t crop up again – those points were, you can be sure, are being addressed as we speak.
Among the greatest risks and dangers posed by the Trump administration is it’s indiscriminate elimination of rules and regulations that, over the years, have been put in place for good, well-thought-out reasons. It’s not just Americans, but citizens in all countries American food producers export to that need fear the random reduction of rules and regulations for food handling, packing, distribution and selling.
The food industry polices itself pretty efficiently, but the ‘policeman around the corner’ in the form of those rules and regulations enables retailers, and consumers, to breath easily, knowing they are protected.