Contaminated Foods and Food Product Recalls

In the early 20th century, in response to increasing public education about the conditions of meat packing plants and the actual ingredients of certain products, the U.S. federal government enacted the Pure Food and Drug Act. This Act required that federal agents inspect meat products, that certain drugs be labeled correctly, and that dangerous or poisonous foods and medications were not manufactured or sold. Eventually, this Act helped form the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which currently regulates the safety and effectiveness of our food and medicine.

Food and drug companies are still subjected to federal inspections and must abide by certain laws set in place for the safety of consumers. Unfortunately, not all companies follow these laws, and as a result, dangerous food and drug products still hit the shelves. When you buy your food products off the shelf, you do not always know exactly where the food came from and exactly what it contains.

Food Recalls

To further protect consumers, the U.S. FDA forces companies to recall unsafe or contaminated products that can cause illness or harm. Common reasons for food recalls include:

  • Mislabeled or undeclared allergens
  • Possible bacterial contamination
  • Dangerous chemicals in food dyes, fillers, and preservatives
  • Contaminants in animal drugs and hormones
  • Foreign materials like metal or wood
  • Improper or mishandled packaging

Consumers should stay updated about current food recalls to avoid buying dangerous products and prevent illness. Additionally, by learning about the process of food production, manufacture, and distribution in the U.S., consumers can help protect themselves from dangerous products.