Product Recalls – What You Need To Know As A Consumer?

No doubt it is Government`s responsibility to ensure that the products that are being delivered to the consumers are of utmost quality. Though this is a sad reality that even though tons of steps have been taken to minimized the distribution of defected or low quality products, defected products do reach the market very often.

Recently a giant of tainted foods industry had to recall its huge volume of products because their products were considered as dangerous to health. Besides government, the consumer himself should also have knowledge about their rights regarding the quality of products. They must know the steps that they should take in case a product recall is initiated.

In this article, we would try to answer 5 of the most common questions regarding product recalls (we will answer based on the USA market, the answer may differ a bit in case of another country):

Who Is Responsible For Product Recalls?

In US, FDA (Federal Drug Administration) is responsible to ensure that each and every product that reaches the market is safe and of high quality. This agency is quite efficient and has been responsible of forcing quite a few famous product recalls of very dangerous products.

Which Products Can Be Recalled?

  • FDA monitors a variety of products, some of them are:
  • Drugs
  • Cosmetics
  • Animal Food
  • Biological products
  • Vaccines
  • Radioactive products
  • All Food products (except Meat and Egg)
  • Etc 

Why Product Recall Happens?

Main reason of product recall is to provide safety to the consumers and keep the dangerous or harmful products away from them. All the FDA –regulated products can be recalled anytime, if there is sufficient evidence of that product to be harmful or defective. The products are either removed completely from the market, or until the company fixes the problem. This decision is usually taken be the manufacturer itself, whether it wants to completely wipe out the defected stock, or want to fix it up and distribute again in the market.

FDA states, that the product recall is a very rare thing and most of the times, it is voluntary done from the company`s end. Mostly the company finds the problem itself and recalls the product without having FDA involved in it, which indicates the high level of responsibility that the companies show in US. Very rarely the product recall is initiated by the FDA itself. 

How To Measure A Product`S Risk?

The types of product defects vary a lot and hence FDA has categorized the defects into 4 broad categories.

Class 1: This class of defective products are dangerous for consumer`s health. Recently, the product recalls of Pace makers and Bacteria-tainted peanut butter are perfect example of such defects.

Class 2: This class includes products that can cause temporary health issues or inconvenience to the consumer. These products are not life threatening.

Class 3: These products don’t cause any health issues, but they are classified as defected because of violating any of the manufacturing or labeling laws of FDA. Defect in product packaging may be an example of this class.

Author Bio

Maegan Pulman is a freelance IT consultant and technology enthusiast. She is active in local and international IT events and is always on the lookout for the latest industry trends.