Between deadly romaine, infected beef products, and a popular cereal that sickened dozens, 2018 was full of major national recalls of many popular food and drink products. According to the Food and Drug Administration’s database, there were 1,928 food and cosmetic recalls in the 2018 fiscal year (October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018). That might seem like a lot, but it was actually far fewer than the 3,609 the year before (remember the huge bag salad and flour recalls?).
Recalls can range from large to small, sometimes spreading nationwide and other times affecting just one small area of a state. Food recalls can be caused by any number of hidden dangers, including foreign particles in the food, food-borne bacteria contamination, or undeclared allergens. When a food is recalled, it’s usually taken quickly off store shelves. But it is important to be vigilant and if a food you bought was recalled, you definitely should not eat it. So, do you really need to freak out over food recalls? Maybe not.
But still, it’s always wise to stay informed. In case you missed them, we rounded up the biggest, most impactful food recalls of the year. To compile our list, we turned to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of food-borne illness outbreaks and the food recalls that received the most media attention — often because they were the cause for more concern than most. Additionally, we took into consideration the recalls listed on the FDA database and selected those that impacted the most states. Hopefully you managed to avoid the largest food recalls of 2018.