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Grocers Draw On Data Tracking To Send Personalized Recall Notices

How do you know if you’ve bought produce that’s been recalled? In the digital age, grocery stores have found creative ways to use reach their customers directly.

A receipt shows information about the recall.

A receipt shows information about the recall.

Vince Patton/OPB

Costco, Fred Meyer and Trader Joe’s were recently affected by a fruit recall. When they’ve faced recalls in the past, they’ve always taken products off the shelves. They also have posted informational signs. But for stores with membership programs, the alerts are starting to get personal.

“Every time you buy an item at Costco, we scan that item on to your membership number,” said Craig Wilson, Costco’s food safety vice president. “Any item in the building we can track.”

That means Costco has the ability to reach out to each customer affected by a recall.

Fred Meyer stores also call their rewards card members.

Spokeswoman Melinda Merrill said customers see little notes on their receipts.

“The receipt will tell them, hey, you purchased this product that was recalled,” she said.

Customers who bought recalled produce from Costco, Fred Meyer or Trader Joe’s will receive a full refund.

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