Rethinking food recalls in the US

Vanessa Coffman offers highlights of the panel session New Food hosted at its 2022 Food Safety Conference which discussed the potential pitfalls of current recall systems.

I was honoured to speak on a panel of food recall experts last year that included Steven Mandernach, Michael Walker and Tom Æ Hollands (moderated by Katia Merten‑Lentz) at New Food’s 2022 Food Safety Conference. During the hour, we covered a lot of pitfalls in the US and UK food safety systems and a few ways technology may come to the rescue.

While there are no silver bullets, there are a lot of opportunities for the US to improve on food recalls (as I’m based in the US, I’ll focus on this region). This is an area the Alliance to Stop Foodborne Illness has been focusing on for the past two years.

The Alliance is a programme of the US-based non-profit organisation Stop Foodborne Illness, which – to the best of my knowledge – is the only advocacy organisation in the world devoted to supporting survivors of foodborne illness and leveraging their stories to affect change. STOP was founded following the Jack-in-the‑Box E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, which happened 30 years ago last December.