USDA to Include Retail Store Names in Class I Recalls

Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer announced recently that beginning next month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin listing retail stores receiving meat and poultry products involved in Class I recalls--those of the most serious concern to public health. The announcement is in the July 11 Federal Register and provides a 30 day notice before the process will take effect.

"The identity of retail stores with recalled meat and poultry from their suppliers has always been a missing piece of information for the public during a recall," Schafer said. "People want to know if they need to be on the lookout for recalled meat and poultry from their local store and by providing lists of retail outlets during recalls, USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service will improve public health protection by better informing consumers."

USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) will post on its Web site, www.fsis.usda.gov, a list of retail stores that receive products subject to Class I recalls, the highest risk category, generally within three to ten business days of issuing the recall release. A Class I recall is one that involves a reasonable probability of serious health consequences or death for those with weakened immune systems. Retail stores include supermarkets or other grocery stores, convenience stores, meat markets, wholesale clubs and supercenters. FSIS will not identify distribution centers, institutions, or restaurants, since they prepare food for immediate consumption without packaging that is identifiable or available to consumers.

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