Ben Adams, Jr.

Food Recalls in the Food Supply Chain, Part II

Last month, I presented the kind of effort that Adams Cold Storage (and all the links in the Food Supply Chain) must go through when working to prevent or implement a food recall.

It is this kind of effort, this kind of attention to detail and established procedures, that led to our discovery of a shipment of poorly refrigerated seafood just a few months ago. The seafood was taken out of the FSC immediately to avoid the possibility it would ever find its way to a restaurant or to a family’s dining room table.

Approximately 48 million people (one in six Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases, according to recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is a significant public health burden that is largely preventable. The new inspection and compliance mandates under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act are now in play for all operators in the FSC.

Food-related businesses have ready access to government recall notices and should have procedures in place to quickly and effectively respond to them. Industry standards call for businesses to respond to a possible food recall within two hours of notification. When an official recall is announced, our business has four hours to do a physical inventory of the product(s) or to determine if the recalled food or food-related product is or has been on the premises and to report those findings. Oftentimes, a thick binder’s worth of documentation is required just to report that a recalled product is NOT in a company’s inventory and never has been. If the product is in the inventory, the company will receive instructions from the appropriate regulatory agency regarding action to be taken.

Everyone in the FSC must do their part to maximize food safety by following the rules for food processing, storage, handling, and shipping.


column by BEN ADAMS, JR.

BIO: Ben Adams, Jr. is an owner and president of Adams Cold Storage, LLC in Auburndale. He has been directly involved in citrus production, warehousing and distribution, as well as state and community support, since 1980. His current facility incorporates 200,000 square feet of multi-temperature warehousing, with an extensive expansion plan on the horizon.

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