Infectious Diseases 2017

Infectious Diseases 2017

Recalls and number of illnesses prevented

Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 80, No. 8, 2017, Pages 1288–1292 14 July, 2017

Recalls associated with foodborne illnesses and recalls not involving illnesses suggested that more complete removal of contaminated product from commerce reduced the risk of illness to consumers.
Data from the recalls of meat and poultry products from 2000 through 2012 due to Salmonella contamination were used to assess the factors associated with the recovery of the recalled product and to develop quantitative models to estimate the number of illnesses prevented by recalls. The percentage of product recovered following a recall action was not dependent on establishment size, recall expansions, complexity of the distribution chain, type of distribution, amount of time between the production and recall dates, or number of pounds of product recalled. However, illness-related recalls were associated with larger amounts of recalled product, smaller percentages of recalled product recovered, a greater number of days between the production date and recall date, and nationwide distribution than were recalls that were not illness related.
The total possible illnesses prevented for illness-related recalls was an estimated 19,000 Salmonella infections prevented from 2003 through 2012. For non–illness-related recalls from 2000 through 2012, the estimated total was 8,300 additional Salmonella infections prevented.
Recalls can be an important tool to prevent further exposure and illnesses.