FDA food recalls impact consumers in many ways. Consumers may deal with their favorite products being unavailable. They may also have food safety concerns about potentially dangerous products in their home. And, unfortunately for many consumers, they suffer illness or injury after consuming a product they trusted was safe.
While FDA food recalls seem pretty commonplace in news headlines recently, a new study suggests that these recalls are more common in some states than others.
Study Ranks States Based on FDA Food Recalls
Health and fitness website ExerciseBike recently reviewed four years of FDA Weekly Enforcement Reports. The review consisted of analyzing data including incidence, causes and locations of FDA food recalls. The study revealed that some states see a generally higher number of food recalls than others.
The two states with the highest number of food recalls per capita are Vermont and Wyoming. The state with the lowest number of food recalls are Texas and California. This is based on data from 2014 to 2018. Here is a graphic that shows concentrations of statewide recalls:
Over the period from 2014 to 2018, there were changes in the percentage of FDA food recalls across some states. Over this period of time, some states performed better, while others saw a significant increase in the number of recalls.
Why Does the FDA Recall Food Products?
There are several reasons why the FDA may decide to recall a product. Some recalls are also voluntary, with the manufacturer issuing the recall. That means that the FDA did not instruct the company to recall the product. Most often, FDA food recalls occur because of the following:
- Presence of a bacteria or organism, such as Salmonella, Listeria or Coli.
- Tests find allergens in a product that are should not be there, such as nuts, dairy or gluten.
- Food items have labeling errors or are mislabeled
- Food items in the wrong packaging
- Meat products are not properly inspected before distribution
In ExerciseBike’s study, they found that from 2014 to 2018, statewide food recalls were mostly due to undeclared allergens, followed by salmonella contamination.
What Foods are Most Commonly Recalled?
According to the data from ExerciseBike, statewide FDA food recalls vary considerably. There are some types of food items that are more commonly recalled, however, such as:
- Desserts and sweets
- Snack foods
- Condiments, seasonings and sauces
- Dairy products
- Fresh produce
- Processed vegetables and fruits
Of course, state and nationwide recalls include all types of food products. These are just a few examples of the most common recalls that ExerciseBike found in their analysis.
In addition to food recalls, the FDA also monitors and recalls medical devices and drugs. Often, the reasons for these recalls are similar. Medical devices may be defective or may pose a risk to consumer health and safety. Similarly, drug recalls may be due to mislabeling or foreign objects or ingredients.
What to Do about Food Recalls
Whether statewide or nationwide, consumers should be careful to review FDA food recalls and take precautions to avoid illness or injury. Often, media sources will post information about recalls, but it is best to check the FDA’s website directly to confirm recalls. You can also get updates from Bad Food Recall. We regularly update our website and Facebook page with information for consumers.
If you have questions about an injury or illness caused by a recalled food product, you can also contact us directly. Our legal team offers information and support for individuals who suffer harm due to dangerous products. To contact us, call 1-877-534-5750, or fill out our online contact form.