Food recalls are alarming but fairly common. They are worrisome in a fundamental way. None of us wants to be harmed by our nourishment, which after all, sustains us.
Top Ten Most Commonly Recalled Food Items
1. Baked Goods: Let them eat cake ... unless they are allergic. Baked goods are most commonly recalled for undeclared allergens that end up harming the unwary consumer with food allergies. Recalls commonly stem from labeling issues and the undeclared allergens that are usually found in baked goods are nuts, eggs, soy, wheat, and dairy.
2. Cantaloupe: This fruit's porous rind is permeable and easily absorbs contaminants. The cantaloupe also has little acid, which means pathogens grow quickly inside once the fruit is cut.
3. Pet Foods: Both dry and wet food for pets is commonly recalled for salmonella contamination.
4. Eggs: The Food and Drug Administration recalled nearly 400 million eggs last year for potential salmonella contamination.
5. Fresh Produce: Produce is susceptible to listeria contamination, particularly when sold cut and, thus, more likely to have been handled. This year, we also saw a major recall of spinach and cucumbers based on salmonella contamination.
6. Beef: While all beef is susceptible to contamination from E. coli bacteria, ground beef is particularly problematic.
7. Milk: Dairy recalls are relatively common and milk is particularly susceptible to spoilage. Last year, Canadians dealt with a major milk recall because the dairy was spoiling long before the best-before dates on package.
8. Peanuts: This groundnut has been subject to some of the most serious and widespread recalls in recent history in 2007 and 2008. Salmonella poisoning in peanuts was linked to eight deaths during that period.
9. Chicken and Poultry: We love to eat these birds but chicken is very commonly recalled for salmonella contamination.
10. Seafood: Botulism and listeria contamination are reasons that seafood is regularly recalled.