Wayne State University
the public's exposure when an unacceptable risk has been identified. Food recalls are actions, taken voluntarily by food manufacturers or distributors after they determine independently or are informed by a government agency of the possibility of negative health concerns by consumers from eating their products (Teratanavat & Hooker, 2004, p. 359). They form a warning message that parallels the process described by Miletti and colleagues. This analysis examines the risk communication processes associated with the food recall. We draw on the work of Teratanava, Hooker, and Salain (2002) and Teratanavat and Hooker (2004) regarding the dynamics of food recalls and on the work of Mileti and Fitzpatrick (1992) and Mileti and Peek (2000) regarding public warning models to develop a model of the communication processes associated with the food warning and recall. Specifically we draw on existing data from a variety of agencies (FSIS, USDA, CDC and Center for Science and the Public Interest) to: 1) develop a model of the recall and warning process, 2) describe elements that contribute to a more effective recall (reach, credibility, action), and 3) identify strategies for improving the warning process.