Most Recalled Meat is Eaten

US - Consumers may draw comfort from federal meat recalls that alert stores, restaurants and households to potentially unsafe meat.
calendar icon 10 December 2007
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But most recalled meat is never recovered — raising the possibility that it was consumed before or even after the recall — according to a USA TODAY analysis of recall data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For 73 meat recalls this year and last, recovery rates per recall averaged 44%, the analysis shows. But for five recalls that followed reports of consumer illness, recovery rates per recall averaged just 20%.

Recovery rates vary for several reasons, including how quickly meat gets to market and the number of days between production and when problems are detected.

"The closer those dates are to each other, the more we get back," says Kenneth Petersen, USDA assistant administrator.

He says recalls spawned by reports of illness have low recovery rates because weeks or months can pass between when a product is produced, someone gets sick and illness is linked with food.

Source: USAtoday
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