Consumers should not rely on inspectors to make sure that expired or recalled foods, like the 500 million eggs recalled last month, are no longer being sold, public health experts said.
In most cases, inspectors rarely check grocery shelves for recalled products, and instead rely on the producers of the tainted product to make sure that the recall was effective.
No regulations exist to prevent stores from selling expired food, which inspectors view as a food quality issue rather than a food safety concern. Agencies only intervene when the expired product has been found to cause illness, which public health specialists say is rare.
Food recalls sound official, but actually they are voluntary. Removing the tainted food is up to the stores and restaurants after they receive the recall notice from the company that produced it. Government agencies try to monitor to make sure the recall is happening but they have limited authority or resources to intervene. - Minnesota Public Radio