Recalls of foods contaminated with pathogens help reduce the transmission of infectious diseases. Here, we summarize the number and nature of foods recalled as a result of microbiological contamination, classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the period 1 October 2002 through 30 September 2011. Microbiological contamination accounted for 1,395 (42%) of 3,360 recalls of food during this period. Nuts and edible seeds, followed by fishery–seafood products and spices, were the types of products most commonly recalled for microbiological contamination. Salmonella contamination accounted for the greatest number of food products recalled due to microbiological contamination, and was the pathogen most often linked to reported outbreaks involving recalled food products.

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