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Actions to take after a food recall

Residents in Louisiana know how important it is to eat fresh fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet. So what do you do if the fruit and veggies you're eating have been compromised? Produce recalls can be a source of panic for many. Fortunately, there are easy ways to handle these situations.

The first thing to understand is that not all recalls will be announced on the news. If they are, they might not be as highly publicized as cases involving big companies, restaurant chains, or particularly dangerous outbreaks of foodborne illness. When looking for information about food recalls, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a website in which all of the most recent recalls are listed. They list the item that's been recalled along with the reasons for recall, which can range from bacteria to undeclared ingredients.

FoodSafety also has a list of what to do during a food recall. This includes not eating any of the food if you haven't already. Don't consume it, give it to pets, or try donating it to food pantries. Watch the company to decide how to dispose of it, since some may want you to return it to the store and others may simply advise throwing it away.

They even advise against opening food to "check" it, stating that bacteria can't be seen or smelt and that a person only exposes themselves for no reason when they do this. Handling open products that have been recalled should always be followed by a thorough handwashing.

By following these steps, you can help ensure your own safety the next time a food item in your pantry is recalled.

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