Natural Foods Merchandiser

California retailers to be named during recalls

During a meat recall, consumers are usually told the recalled product's name and identifying code, how it's packaged and the states to which it was distributed. But according to a new California law, the state Department of Health Services and local officials will also be able to notify the public which retailers might have sold the recalled product.

Set to go into effect July 1, the law will require beef and poultry suppliers, distributors and processors to notify the DHS when meat or poultry they sell in California has been subject to a voluntary recall by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and provide the DHS with a list of retailers that have or will receive the product.

The USDA is considering comment on a similar proposal, which was introduced at the federal level last year, and would allow the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service to post names and locations of retail consignees of recalled meat or poultry products.

Opposed by many meat processors and food retailers, the proposal is supported by some consumers and government officials, who say it would enhance the public's ability to recognize products being recalled.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 4/p.10

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