Dealing With A Recall
A recall, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is when a product is removed from the market or a correction is made to the product because it is either defective or potentially harmful. Products of any kind can be recalled, ranging from frozen foods to medicine, children’s toys to vehicles. Sometimes, defective products can be incredibly dangerous. A car with a faulty breaking system could lead to accidents, a badly designed phone could catch on fire (like the recent Galaxy Note 7 recall showed us), or an improperly tested food or medication could lead to serious illness. Recalls that affect children, like toys with defective parts or improperly built cribs or car seats, are particularly dangerous.
In some cases, companies voluntarily recall their products when they realize that they are defective or dangerous. Ideally, all companies would value their consumer’s safety over their own profit. Unfortunately, this is not always how it works. In these cases, the FDA or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gets involved. Thankfully, though, most recalls are voluntary, and the companies alert the public to the potential issues.
Own A Recalled Product?
Some recalls are announced through the media, particularly if the issue might affect a large number of people, like a tainted food supply or a serious vehicle issue. However, not all recalls will be covered extensively by the media. Because of this, it’s important to be a smart consumer. Look for FDA-approved products. Check toys for any dangers, like small parts, before giving them to children, and always keep an eye on children to prevent injury. When purchasing food, make sure it looks fresh, and not past its expiration date. If a food product expires before you can use it at home, throw it away. Even if it smells or looks fine, it could contain bacteria or other health hazards.
To hear about recalls, check the FDA’s website, or periodically visit sites like recalls.org, which will keep you up to date on recent product recalls. Larger corporations, like Walmart and big grocery store chains, might even have a page on their website that lists recent recalls. You can also sign up for recall emails that will keep you consistently informed.
It’s true that your specific product might not have the issue, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. You should not take the risk of using or consuming the product. If the recall concerns a food product, do not donate the food, give it to someone else, or even feed it to your pets. If possible, avoid opening the food at all.
Normally, you can return the recalled product and receive a refund or replacement product. In the meantime, it is important to not use or consume the product. If the recall concerns a children’s item, be sure to keep it safely out of reach of children until you figure out what to do with it. By immediately heeding recalls warnings, you can protect yourself and your family from any injury or sickness. Remember, just because a recall MIGHT not affect you doesn’t mean that you should take any chances!
For recalls issued by specific companies: http://corporate.walmart.com/recalls, http://recalls.owners.honda.com/service-maintenance/recalls, https://toysrusinc.com/corporate-responsibility/product-recalls, for example. Most big companies should list recalls on their websites.
For food recall information: https://www.foodsafety.gov/recalls/recent/index.html and http://www.fda.gov/
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