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See also: Food Safety Videos
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
USDA Food Safety And Inspection Service (FSIS) (www.fsis.usda.gov)
FOOD RECALLS AND ALERTS
For information on active Food Recall cases. Also links to Completed Recalls in the Recall Case Archive.
For Help With Restaurant Food Problems:
Call the Health Department in your city, county or state.
View a complete listing of
State Departments of Public Health.
Poison Control Center
24 hours: 1-800-222-1222
The American Association of Poison Control Centers works to support the nation's 60 poison centers in the valuable work they do. America's poison centers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you.
POISON CENTER (National Capital Poison Center)
Be Careful with Medicines and Household Cleaning Products
If you think someone’s been poisoned — act fast! Don’t wait to see what happens! Call the National Capital Poison Center RIGHT AWAY!! 1-800-222-1222
CDC: U.S. Government Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
TTY: (888) 232-6348
24 Hours/Every Day
CDC Website: www.cdc.gov
Have patience as there are several levels of automated menu choices you must go through to route your question to the correct department.
For Problems with a Food Product:
Here are the government agencies that have responsibility for the different types of food products:
For Help With Meat, Poultry And Egg Products:
Call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
for the hearing-impaired (TTY) 1-800-256-7072.
The Hotline is staffed by food safety experts weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time. You can listen to food safety recordings 24 hours a day using a touch-tone phone.
For Help With Non-Meat Food Products
(Cereals, Fish, Produce, Fruit Juice, Pastas, Cheeses, etc):
For complaints about food products which do not contain meat or poultry -- such as cereal -- call or write to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Check your local phone book under U.S. Government, Health and Human Services, to find an FDA office in your area.
The FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition can be reached at
In order for the USDA to investigate a problem with meat, poultry or egg products, you must have:
• The original container or packaging
• Any foreign object that you might have discovered in the product
• Any uneaten portion of the food (refrigerate or freeze it)
Information you should be ready to tell the Hotline on the phone includes:
• Name, address and phone number;
• Brand name, product name and manufacturer of the product
• The size and package type
• Can or package codes (not UPC bar codes) and dates
• Establishment number (EST) usually found in the circle or shield near the "USDA passed and inspected" phrase;
• Name and location of the store, as well as the date that you purchased the product.
You can complain to the store or the product's manufacturer if you don't choose to make a formal complaint to the USDA.
If you think you are ill, see a physician.
If an injury or illness allegedly resulted from use of a meat or poultry product, you will also need to tell the Hotline staff about the type, symptoms, time of occurrence and name of attending health professional (if applicable).
The Bottom Line:
If you sense there's a problem with any food product, don't consume it. "When in doubt, throw it out."
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