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Was your food, cat food or dog food recalled? Here's how to find out

These automated systems alert you when there is a food recall for humans and pets.

food-recall-alerts
The USDA's food recall page.
Alina Bradford/CNET

Hold up. That yummy food you're about to eat may be trouble. In 2016, there were 764 food recalls in the United States and Canada on everything from milk to chicken nuggets. Some of the foods recalled were contaminated with E. coli, listeria and salmonella. Others contained particulates such as glass, metal, plastic, rubber and wood.   

One of the latest recalls is 22,000 pounds of beef due to possible E. coli contamination. That doesn't make for an appetizing burger. 

It's nearly impossible to keep up with all of these recalls on your own. Luckily, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has an alert system that will let you know as soon as a recall happens. 

Just go to their recall page and click on the email notification link at the top. This will open a pop-up that will request your email address. Once you've entered it, just tap Submit. Now, whenever there is a recall, you'll get an alert in your inbox.

Protect your pets, too

In 2016, there were more than 20 pet food recalls and over half-a-dozen so far in 2017, so it is important to protect your pet from tainted food, too. The USDA alerts work for pet food as well as human food, but you also have several additional options. 

You can: