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The manufacturer may sometimes recall food items you have received. This may happen when food contamination is confirmed or suspected. It can also occur when items have been mislabeled or misbranded. Often food is recalled when food allergens have not been identified on the label. 

Most vendors will notify you of the recall. However, you should also monitor recall notifications made by the FDA and the USDA. Follow the guidelines when notified of a recall. 

First, Identify the recalled food items by matching information from the recall notice to the item. This may include the manufacturer’s ID, the time the item was manufactured, and the item’s use-by date. Remove the item from inventory, and place it in a secure and appropriate location. That may be a cooler or dry-storage area.

Remember the recalled item must be stored separately from food, utensils, equipment, linens, and single-use items. Label the item in a way that will prevent it from being placed back in inventory. Some operations do this by including a Do Not Use and Do Not Discard label on recalled food items. 

Lastly, Inform staff not to use the product. Refer to the vendor’s notification or recall notice for what to do with the item. For example, you might be instructed to throw it out or return it to the vendor.


  1. Food gets recalled if contamination is suspected

  2. Usually vendors tell you about recalls but sometimes it comes from the FDA or USDA

  3. Recalled items must be separated from safe food