In a new report, Food for thought: Are your groceries safe?, Arizona PIRG Education Fund surveyed 50 of the largest grocery and convenience store chains nationwide on their notification practices and talked to experts about what needs to change to improve both communication and public safety.
Among our findings:
● Only half of the retailers told us they notify customers by phone, text, or email within one business day.
● One-third of the retailers put the onus on customers to check the store’s website or social media accounts for recall notices.
● Although federal law requires more robust notifications — including in-store signs — under an 11-year-old law, the guidelines are neither finalized nor enforced.
● Incorporating better use of technology, a tactic the food industry association supports, could help significantly.
The Arizona PIRG Education Fund’s report also includes tips for consumers on steps they can take to keep up with food recalls; tips on how to read “best by/use by” package labels to understand food expiration dates; and tips on how to save money at the grocery store, despite rising food prices.