Looking for risk reduction info and finding little

Ashley Chaifetz, a PhD student studying public policy at UNC-Chapel Hill writes,

After last year’s extended recall of my dog’s food, I switched brands. The recalls kept piling up and I did not want to put Chloe, my dog, at an increased risk as I repeatedly switched out bags of food.IMG_5238-225x300

Our pet food store gave me all sorts of samples for her to try before I committed to a new 30-lb bag. This time, I decided look up all the brands I had samples for in the FDA recall database. I initially considered ruling out companies with a history of recalls because repeated problems demonstrates a company that can’t get it right.

But what to do about businesses that may have had one health-related recall? Or none?

What I want to know is what a company does, or has done in response to an event, to improve their systems to reduce the risk of dogfoodborne illness.

It’s really hard to find information from dog food producers about what they do to keep Chloe’s potential food safe. It’s time for producers to step it up.

Providing consumers with risk reduction plans and systems, whether a company has had a contamination event or not, should be the industry standard but only a few companies provide this information.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.