I don't think it makes all that much difference from an SEO perspective.
One consideration, though, is that if you have subdirectories like widget.com/food/recalls and you decide to move an individual page from one category to another, the URL of the page will change. That's not a huge deal, especially if you can easily do a 301 redirect, but it's something to think about.
With the flatter structure, the URL doesn't necessarily have to change when content changes category, so there's no need to do a 301 (which results in a tiny loss of link juice).
Another consideration is the effect on site management -- that's going to depend on your setup, whether you're using a CMS and which one, etc.