Food Recalls: How Effective Are They?

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Food Recalls: How Effective Are They?
By
James Hill
Business Writing Ethics Paper
November 10,2011
Meredith Beckman, instructor

Food is an important resource for the human race. It nourishes our bodies and provides needed energy for daily life. The types of food we eat can determine how healthy we become and how our bodies function. Too often we don’t consider these issues when choosing food. We also take for granted that the food options available are safe. It usually takes a food recall to focus our attention on food safety. This paper will look at the agencies that monitor our food and examine the food recall process.

The companies that manufacture food are regulated by two groups of the federal government. They are the US Department of Agriculture( USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration( FDA)(Hunter,2002). “The USDA is responsible for meat and poultry safety; the FDA for all other foods and food products”(Hunter,2002). Even though these agencies are charged with the safety of our food, their power is limited. Whenever people become ill due to contaminated food, the agencies can only request, not order, a recall(Hunter,2002). The only exceptions are for infant formulas or foods containg bacteria that could spread disease(Hunter,2002). The USDA and FDA, by these limits, are hindered in getting foods recalled causing delays in removing contaminated food in stores.

Both agencies work with companies to issue voluntary recalls(Hunter,2002). But too often dangerous foods remain on the shelves, sometimes for days, after a recall(Mills,2010). An example of this involved ConAgra Foods which makes Banquet pot pies(Mills,2010). During the fall of 2007, several cases of salmonella poisoning led ConAgra to issue a recall of the pies(Mills,2010). But Kenneth Maxwell and his wife failed to hear about it and purchased several pot pies two weeks after the recall(Mills,2010). They ate some of the pies and became sick. This illustrates that food recalls do not...
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