August 21, 2019
Whether it’s romaine lettuce, ground beef, or cereal, you’ve probably noticed a number of significant food recalls in the headlines recently — so many that it often feels like there’s a new one each day. In the United States, food recalls are most often due to bacterial contamination from pathogens, such as E. coli and salmonella. These bacteria can lead to foodborne illness (also known as food poisoning) and, in rare cases, serious health issues. That’s pretty scary!
So, what should you do if you think you have recalled food items in your home? First, don’t panic. Not all recalls involve people getting sick; some are issued as a precautionary measure. Then, follow these steps:
Identify the product. Check out the list of recent food recalls to see if the details match your food product (e.g., UPC number, expiration or “use by” date). Food recalls are very specific, so if you don’t have the exact product in the notice, your product is not part of the recall.
While there’s no way to know what’s contaminated by look, feel, or smell, there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from foodborne illness. Here are four simple guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help ensure food safety at home:
• Wash your hands and work surfaces with soap and water often. Germs can survive in many places around your kitchen, including your hands, utensils, cutting boards, and countertops.
• Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from ready-to-eat foods and produce at all times — including in your shopping cart, refrigerator, and meal preparation area.
• Ensure that all meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods reach the right internal temperature during cooking to kill harmful bacteria. You can’t tell if food has been cooked safely by looking at its color or texture, so be sure to use a food thermometer.
• Chill. Refrigerate food promptly. Bacteria can multiply rapidly, so refrigerate perishable foods within two hours of cooking (or within one hour if it’s warmer than 90°F outside). Also, keep your refrigerator below 40°F.
This content was originally published on IBX Insights.
Mother. Wife. TV junkie. Shopaholic. That’s me in a nutshell – outside of work. As a copywriter at IBX, I enjoy learning about the health and wellness topics that I write about and hope to incorporate more healthy habits into my daily life to give me the energy to keep up with my baby girl.