DATCAP sees rise in Wisconsin food producer recalls – WSAW

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) – According to the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection food recalls, especially among local producers, are up this year over previous ones.
The DATCP says it happens mostly with smaller companies and they’re doing their best to make sure they get the proper food safety education.
There have been 19 Class One and Two food recalls for Wisconsin products since January.
“That is a number larger than maybe we’ve seen in recent years,” said DATCP’s Administrator of Food and Recreational Safety, Joseph Meyer.
In order to sell food in commercial places you have to file a food safety plan with DATCP, but smaller businesses may not update those plans as fast as their products or equipment may change.
“When that happens, we need to take that product. We need to get it out of the marketplace to make sure that we don’t have products out there that are not compliant for consumers,” Meyer said.
Regulations can be as strict for where the food preparation is done, as Athens pizza maker Stoney Acres Farm discovered, to the hours that the manufacturers are in operation.
“We have an agreement with each establishment. They sign off what hours they are going to operate and we are basically committing to be able to inspect that establishment during those hours,” Meyer said.
Stoney Acres voluntarily recalled a batch of pizzas last year. The use of an oven outside their licensed facility made the inspection sticker on their packaging invalid.
In Stoney Acres’ case, there were no illnesses from any of the pizzas that were sold.
But Meyer says it’s best to get rid of anything DATCP warns against, and make sure surfaces they’ve touched are disinfected.
“Clean things out just to make sure that you haven’t somehow contaminated your appliances or your refrigerator,” Meyer said.
Voluntary recalls are done by the makers of the products that get flagged based on recommendations by DATCP.
If a manufacturer decides not to pull a food item from stores, there will be a health alert issued on the DATCP website.
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