Two major recalls from the last seven months showcase the weaknesses in our food recall system: It often takes too long for companies and regulators to notify grocers, consumers, restaurants and food packagers, particularly regarding Class I recalls with a “reasonable probability” that exposure or use of the product could cause “serious adverse health consequences or death.” And once grocers find out, they aren’t required to contact customers who may have already purchased contaminated products. While many stores do quickly notify customers one way or another, the practices aren’t uniform and aren’t always timely. Meanwhile, people continue to get sick.
The CDC estimates that one in six Americans become ill every year from foodborne diseases. Among those, 128,000 wind up in the hospital and 3,000 die.
BOSTON-- When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled 225 varieties of bagged lettuce, spinach and salad products in December because of potentially deadly contamination, it took the FDA a week to post a public notice on its web site. While many stores quickly notify customers of recalls one way or another, they’re not required to, and their practices are neither uniform nor always timely. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimatesthat one in six Americans get sick each year from foodborne diseases. Of those,128,000 wind up in the hospital and 3,000 die.
We see hundreds of food recalls every year. Some lead to people being hospitalized or even dying. Consumers should consider what they can do to help protect themselves and their families by finding out about food recalls quickly.
Cities and states need to adopt policies and make investments designed to cut pollution and give people more options for getting where they need to go.
Our national network and the Right to Repair team organized a summit featuring keynote speaker Adam Savage from MythBusters. He shared his thoughts with us on the movement and we discussed our current progress on the Right to Repair campaign.
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