When a food product is either defective or potentially harmful, recalling that product — removing it from the market or correcting the problem — is the most effective means for protecting the public. This is a responsibility for every segment of the food industry, including food banks and other charitable feeding programs. Because our clients are often more vulnerable to public health dangers, it is important that we, as a network, remain diligent about protecting their food supply.

As a reminder, The Food Bank’s Basic Membership Agreement states that member agencies and their food programs agree to adhere to the following guidelines regarding recalled products:

  • When The Food Bank receives notification of a product recall from the FDA or its national office, Feeding America, it will remove that product from the shelves within 24 hours;
  • The Food Bank will notify (via email and signs in the warehouse) member programs of the same recalled products within 24 hours;
  • Member programs will remove from their shelves, discontinue use, and dispose of recalled products within one business day of recall notice; and
  • Member programs will maintain records of removal and disposal of recalled products.

The Food Bank’s recall policy is as such:

When we receive notification from Feeding America, United States Department of Agriculture, or the US Food and Drug Administration that a recalled product has passed through our food bank, we will remove the product from our inventory and determine the member recipients through our inventory and shopping database. In this case we will:

  • Notify recipients directly of the recalled product and of the expectation for return or destruction of the product;
  • Notify all member programs via email about the nationally recalled product; and
  • Post the product on the Recall list in NewsBites.

There are times when recalled product may pass through our Salvage stream. Due to this possibility we provide links in Web Windows that gives our agencies the ability to access recall information provided by our retail salvage partners and government agencies.

There are other products that we do not distribute that member programs access through other means, such as food drives, retail pick-up, or private donations. We will not have these products listed on our recall list, but will always have links to the USDA and FDA recall websites on the web-windows home page for member programs.

Additional Resources

We strongly encourage member programs to actively monitor the following recall websites to ensure the safety of the products they are providing:

The USDA Recalls and Public Health Alerts

The USFDA Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts