Skip to Main navigation Skip to Left navigation Skip to Main content Skip to Footer

University of Minnesota Extension

Extension > Food > Food Safety > Preserving and Preparing > Safe Meals > Don't ignore food recalls

Preparing Safe Meals

Don't ignore food recalls

Suzanne Driessen

Cans of food

You hear a news report, a food item is recalled? What do you do? Don't ignore food recalls. Why not ignore them? Food recalls protect the public from products that may cause injury, illness or even death. Food products are recalled to remove them from the marketplace because there is reason to believe the products may be defective, adulterated, contaminated, misbranded or mislabeled.

Most common reasons for a food recall:

When a food item is recalled, learn the facts and take action! Follow these 5 steps as the final food safety defense.



  1. Check food item recalls on, at the store you purchased the item or with the manufacturer of the product.
  2. Check your cupboards, refrigerator and/or freezer for the product.
  3. If you purchased the product, read the food label, compare it to the plant, establishment and lots codes on the recall notice. If it matches and is a recalled product, do not consume it or feed to animals.
  4. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer or store regarding returning or disposing of the product.
  5. Remember, only products indicated in the recall notifications are unsafe. For example, if Kumquats were recalled from only producer A. Kumquats from producer B and C are safe to buy and eat because they were not part of the recall.


Treiber, L. 2015, February 10. Food recalls: Are you following directions? Part 1. Michigan State University Extension.

Treiber, L. 2015, February 20. Food recalls: Are you following directions? Part 2. Michigan State University Extension.

Food Recalls & Alerts

Related Resource

Serve it up Safely online course

2015, Reviewed by Kathy Brandt 2015

  • © Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy