A recall is an action conducted by an establishment to voluntarily remove adulterated or misbranded products from commerce.  Recalls are initiated by the manufacturer or distributor of the meat or poultry products, sometimes at the request of FSIS.  If a company refuses to recall its products, the FSIS has the legal authority to detain and seize those products from commerce.  According to Title 9 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 418 (9 CFR 418, it is required that official establishments producing meat and/or poultry products prepare and maintain written recall plans. 

There are three levels of meat and poultry recalls categorized by FSIS. The type of recall depends on the potential risk to consumers. 

Class 1- This is a health hazard situation where there is reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death. 

Class 2- This is a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of this product. 

Class 3- This is a situation where the use of the product will not cause adverse health consequences, or the risk is negligible. 

FSIS Guidelines

FSIS-GD-2016-0016 Allergen Management, Labeling, and Economics of Related Recalls for FSIS Related Products

FSIS-GD-2013-0024 Recall Plan Booklet- How to Develop a Meat and Poultry Recall Plan

FSIS Directives

5000.8 Verifying Compliance with Requirements for Written Recall Procedures (June 17, 2020)

5610.1 Consumer Complaint Monitoring System (CCMS)- Revision 2 (Nov. 12, 2020)

8080.1 Recall of Meat and Poultry Products- Revision 8 (Dec. 19, 2023)

8080.3 Foodborne Illness Investigations- Revision 3 (May 18, 2021)


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