You might wonder when it is safe to resume buying a product after an allergy alert and recall has been issued.
Food companies generally pull products that may be contaminated with allergens from store and warehouse shelves. These items are often destroyed so they have no chance of reaching more consumers.
However, instead of assuming food companies are pulling and destroying recalled items, greater peace of mind comes from reading the company’s press release about the recalled item. These can be found here.
For example, Whole Foods Market recently issued a press release about foods prepared with supplier-provided ground cumin that might have contained undeclared peanut protein. Also, Con Yeager Spice Company issued a press release about its ground cumin spice products with an undeclared possible peanut allergen.
Important Recall Information
Recall press releases typically tell consumers:
- Why the recall was issued and how the food manufacturer responded to it.
- The names of the products involved and other pertinent information such as UPC or PLU codes, the sell-by dates, states where the items were sold, package descriptions or photos and lot numbers. With this information, consumers can check to see whether they have purchased any contaminated products.
- Whether any allergic reactions to the product have been reported.
- A customer service phone number and how to get a refund.
The Next Step by Manufacturers
Once an allergen alert is issued and complied with by food manufacturers, and consumers have notification available about products they might have already purchased, the danger imposed by that specific batch of an ingredient or product should be eliminated.
Foods or spices purchased from foreign, unregulated sources –those not subject to allergen labeling laws – are naturally a higher allergen risk.
If uncertain about a product or an ingredient in a food you have already purchased, you might call the manufacturer to inquire about product safety, check online for a product recall, take the item back to the store or toss it out.