There have been hundreds of food product recalls in the last few years for everything from tomatoes to peanuts. But consumers don’t always heed the news. According to a survey released by Rutgers University in New Jersey, only 60 percent of Americans check for recalled foods in their home.
William Hallman, professor of human ecology and lead researcher, said he hopes to get more consumers not only to pay attention to the recalls, but to take active steps to rid the products from their homes. Currently, Hallman said only about 25 percent of those surveyed threw out food after hearing about a recall.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The Associated Press estimate that about 87 million people get sick from food every year. About 371,000 of those are sick enough for a hospital visit. About 5,700 people die from food poisoning.
In fact, the peanut-related Salmonella outbreak that began in 2008 sickened more than 700 people in 46 States and was linked to nine deaths. The Salmonella outbreak in 2009 linked to hot peppers and tomatoes sickened more than 1,400 people. And a Trader Joe’s peanut butter recall is still ongoing. The CDC reports there are 30 illnesses in 19 States from salmonella-contaminated peanut products.
For more information, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website and sign up for email alerts for the latest news about recalls and contaminated products. You can also use Recall Owl to follow food recall information.