At least 17 million pounds of processed meat were recalled in 2019, due to contamination with foreign objects, according to a report by the Washington Post. Consumers are finding pieces of metal, glass, plastic and rubber in their food, sometimes after they’ve eaten a portion of it. These foreign objects can cause chipped teeth, intestinal tract injuries and choking. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agrees that consumer complaints are up an, in March 2019, it issued guidelines for food manufacturers to act more quickly when problems are discovered or reported.
Getting Food Manufacturers to Act More Quickly
The USDA can recommend recalls when it knows of a problem but cannot issue a recall itself or force a company to recall a contaminated product. Now it wants food producers to take action faster when complaints come in. It has been common for manufacturers to wait until they receive numerous complaints before recalling a contaminated product.
Why So Many Recalls?
Fresh, healthy food may be a popular trend, but the demand for fast, processed foods is still increasing in the U.S. According to surveys conducted by the Food Marketing and North American Meat Institutes, 63% of consumers said they purchased processed meat products in 2019 up from 37% in 2016.
To meet this demand, and cut costs, manufacturers are using ancient equipment and working it harder and faster than it was ever meant to be used.
Consumers take their complaints public now. About 80% of recalls are triggered by consumer complaints. Social media has given consumers more power than they’ve ever had to hurt companies that don’t respond.
If you were harmed by a contaminated food product, please schedule a free consultation with an experienced defective products attorney right away to learn more about your rights.