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How to Address a Food Recall

September 28, 2022
locally grown peppers and cabbage

No restaurant wants to deal with the stress of a food recall on products they love. However, food recalls are a reality in the food service industry, and it’s always best to be prepared.

If you manage a food service business and find yourself drowning in recalled goods, it’s best to understand the reasons behind the recall and how you safely remove recalled foods off of your patrons’ plates.


What is a Food Recall?

When a manufacturer or producer realizes that one of their products is mislabeled or has the possibility to harm consumers, they conduct a voluntary recall on the product.

However, the FDA can also uncover product hazards during general inspections and request that the manufacturer perform a recall to ensure public safety.


Top Reasons Behind a Food Recall?

There are many reasons why products get recalled, but these three are the most common issues we’ve seen behind necessary returns or disposals.



Sometimes, products are found to be riddled with dangerous pathogens that can impact health when consumed. Pathogens like Listeria, E. coli, and Salmonella are some of the most recognizable pathogens that lead to a mass product recall.

Some of the most common foods susceptible to these pathogens are:


Physical Contamination

Non-food items in your food products is something you never want to experience as a restaurant owner. Foods that are chemically or biologically contaminated fall under this type of recall.

However, most of the physical contaminant recalls stem from items like metal, wood, plastic, or insect parts being found in a food product.


Incorrect Packaging

Incorrect packaging can lead to misleading information about a product’s ingredients that could create a safety hazard for those that consume it. In these instances, foods are typically recalled and replaced with products that have the proper packaging.


How Can You Check for Food Recalls?

Fortunately, checking for food recalls is as easy as visiting a website or downloading an app.

All recall information involves the specific product and brand so there is absolutely zero guess work.


What Should You Do With Recalled Foods?

If you’ve discovered that you have recalled foods in your restaurant’s pantry. What next?

  1. Double-check the reason behind the recall. The situation isn’t always a pathogen-based problem. A package could simply be mislabeled.
  2. Don’t serve or eat the recalled food. Don’t even open the food to smell it or test it. If there is a cross-contamination issue involved, you won’t be able to smell it, but you’ll definitely feel the aftermath.
  3. Follow the recall’s instructions about what to do with the food. Sometimes they suggest returning the product to the store you bought it from. Sometimes you’re instructed on how to properly dispose of the good.


Keep Your Food Practices Safe With Certified On The Fly

Food handler certification is essential in the service industry. We all have to eat. So, if you’re serving food, make sure you and your team are doing it correctly.

At Certified On The Fly, we forgo the lengthy in-person training and offer certification courses completely online.

Our registrants can take the course at their own pace without missing a single shift at work.

Business owners can even apply for an employer account that lets restaurants easily certify the entire staff at a reasonable cost.

Register online today to start serving your food safer.

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