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October 2, 2007

Thinking about Recalls

The USDA/ FSIS website includes a Recall Case Archive listing meat recalls back to 1994, with Recall Quantity Recovered starting in 2005.  For example, on September 5, 2007, Fairbank Farms recalled 884 pounds of ground beef because of possible E. coli O157: H7 contamination, and reported having recovered 877 pounds. The archive gives the case number, the type of product, the reason for the recall, pounds recovered, and a link to the recall announcement.

Most of the recoveries are not as complete as the Fairbank Farms recall.  In one case, 17,000 pounds of sausage was recalled because of undeclared sulfites, but only 5325 pounds was recovered. 

Interestingly, Tyson Foods seems to have mastered the recall process.  Last June, Tyson recalled 40,400 pounds of ground beef products because of possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination.  The recovery? 94,124 pounds.

Now that I know this archive is available, I'll be watching to see how much of Topps Meat Co. 21.7 million pounds (blogged here) is actually recovered. Other questions: which kinds of recall get the best recovery -- E. coli, undeclared allergen, metal, other contaminants?  Where does all the recalled product go? Why are the recoveries not higher? 

October 2, 2007 in food safety | Permalink


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"Where does all the recalled product go?"
You know, I wondered that too.

You're right, Tyson seems to have mastered the recall process :)

Love your blog!

Posted by: Bix | Oct 2, 2007 2:41:02 PM

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