The week in recalls

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Wow – it’s been a busy week for USDA and FDA news threads.  So many recalls that even my husband started to take note.

In case you missed you – here’s a summary with the relevant details:

USDA Announced Recalls:

October 22, 2013 – Reser’s announces an all encompassing recall of 22,800 of various fully cooked meat salads after CFIA reported samples testing positive for Listeria spp.

October 22, 2013 – Costco, Coon Rapids, Minnesota announced a recall of 300 odd packages of ground beef for potential E.coli O157:H7 presence.  This, on the heals of the California issues with Salmonella, put Costco under a food safety microscope they normally successfully avoid.

October 24, 2013 – Boston Salads announced a recall of almost 223,000 lbs of various chicken salads produced between August and October for possible presence of Listeria.

October 25, 2013 – Garden Fresh of Wisconsin announced a recall of an additional 103,000 lbs of meat salads for presence of Listeria.  This expands their original recall of 25,000 lbs announced in late September.

October 25, 2013 – Taylor Farms of Jessup, MD recalls broccoli salad kits for possible presence of Listeria.

October 26, 2013 – Reser’s expands their recall to include all products produced in their facility between September 5 & October 9, 2013.

October 26, 2013 – Ferraini, a California importer, announces a recall of 15,000 lbs of salami that was not presented for USDA inspection.

FDA Announced Recalls:

In addition to several of the items above that are jointly regulated.

October 25, 2013 – Kraft announces a recall of 735,000 cases of string cheese produced under the Polly-O label due to premature spoilage

That’s 8 recalls of well over 1,000,000 lbs.  While the US recall system is the best in the world and should be looked at as a positive mechanism to alert and protect the public this volume of recalls will and probably should cause a bit of concern.

I was sitting in the airport the other day and the over-emotional woman on CNN was practically in tears as she announced the Reser recall.  My first thought was she belonged on Nancy Grace as opposed to reporting real news but…..then again, maybe that level of alert is necessary to ensure everyone takes the information seriously.

In any event, the number this week was alarming and I think we in the food industry need to pause and take a moment to strengthen our resolve.  There by the grace of God go I.