Food Recalls: A Legal Compliance Overview from a California Perspective

Spring/Summer 2018

California Food Producer, Edition 1


Food recalls have always been serious business. They require a lot of time, a lot of manpower and a lot of money. Even worse, they have grown in number in recent years. Between 2010 and 2014, the United States averaged 85 recalls per year. In 2015 that number rocketed to 150. In 2016, we saw 122 and in 2017, 131.

Prior to January 2011, recalls were always voluntary. President Barack Obama amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act by signing into law the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA). FSMA authorizes the Food and Drug Administration to require recalls in certain circumstances. While California has not given the Department of Public Health-Food and Drug Branch (CDPH-FDB) the same power to force a mandatory recall, FSMA and the increase in the number if food recalls in recent years prompt a hard look at the requirements, consequences and best practices surrounding food recalls.

To read the full article, please visit the CLFP’s website.