Welcome to USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service Food Safety at home
podcast series. These podcasts were designed with you in mind - the consumer - who
purchases and prepares meat, poultry and processed egg products
for your family and friends.
Each episode will bring you a different food safety topic ranging from safe storage, handling,
and preparation of meat, poultry and processed egg products to the importance of keeping
foods safe during a power outage.
So sit back, turn up the volume and listen in.
Welcome to “Food Safety at Home.” This is Gertie Hurley with the Food Safety and
I am your host for this segment. Often the television or radio will have a news flash
about the recall of a meat, poultry or egg product leaving many with the questions about
what if they have a recalled product. In our segment today, we’ll get some valuable information
about recalls. Joining me today to discuss this important subject is Diane Van from the
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline.
Welcome to the show, Diane.
Thank you, Gertie, I’m pleased to be here.
Diane, what is a food recall?
A food recall is a voluntary action by a manufacturer or distributor to protect the public
from products that may cause health problems or possible death. A recall is intended to
remove food products from commerce when there is a reason to believe the products may
be adulterated or misbranded.
Who decides when a recall is necessary?
Recalls are initiated by the manufacturer or distributor of the meat or poultry, sometimes
at the request of FSIS. All recalls are voluntary. However, if a company refuses to recall
its products, then the Food Safety and Inspection Service has the legal authority to detain
and seize those products in commerce.
How are unsafe products discovered?
There are four, primary means by which unsafe or
improperly labeled meat and poultry products come to the attention of FSIS:
- Contacting the manufacturer of the food for more information;
- Interviewing any consumers who allegedly became ill or injured from eating the
- Collecting and analyzing food samples;
- Collecting and verifying information about the suspected food;
- Discussion with FSIS field inspection and compliance personnel;
- Contacting State and local health departments; and
- Documenting a chronology of events.
What should you do if you think you have a product that has been recalled?
You may visit the FSIS Web site at fsis.usda.gov.
That's fsis.usda.gov. To get more detailed information on the recall, and on retail consignees,
you may call our toll-free USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline that’s (1-888-674-6854).
That's it for this week. We’ve been talking to Diane Van from the USDA Meat and Poultry
Thank you so much, Diane, for that helpful information on food recalls. I’m Gertie Hurley
and I’d like to thank you for joining us for this episode of "Food Safety at Home." And
remember, “Be Food Safe.”
Well, that’s all for this time. Thanks for joining us today for another episode of
food safety at home!
For answers to your food safety questions call USDA's toll-free meat and poultry hotline
at 1-888-mphotline. That’s 1-888-674-6854.
You can also get answers to food safety questions online from our virtual representative
"ask karen" at www.askkaren.gov .
Let us know what you think of this podcast by sending your comments to
Thanks for tuning in.