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In any given week a few or more food items get recalled. Most recently macadamia nuts, salad dressing and ice cream made the list for Listeria and Salmonella. Below are safety measures consumers can take to ensure the food in their home is safe for consumption.

A product recall is a request to return or discard a product after the discovery of safety issue and/or defect that might endanger the consumer. In some instances a recall is issued as a precautionary measure and in other instances a recall is made after illnesses have been reported in conjunction with particular items.

Reasons for recalling food include:

• Discovery of an organism in a product which may make consumers sick such as Listeria or Salmonella
• Discovery of a potential allergen in a product
• Mislabeling or misbranding of food. For example, a food may contain an allergen, such as nuts or eggs, but those ingredients do not appear on the label and therefore someone with food allergies can be at risk

First and most importantly visit the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website regularly as your first line of defense. The agency has an official report for all recalled food products. Each report contains a list of recalled items with their respective product codes that are generally categorized by the UPI (Universal Product Code) or the SKU (specific number that is valid only to the store where the product is sold). It will also include the recalled products use-by-dates and the areas affected.

The FDA also offers this information via an automatic alert that can be sent right to your email address that can also be accessed on your mobile device.

After visiting the FDA website and cross checking these details you will have a strong sense of which foods are safe or which foods have been recalled and how you should proceed.

The thing is, consumers can’t really do anything prior to the announcement of a recall so what they need to do is focus on staying current on all food recalls.

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