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What To Do With A Recalled Product

Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on August 29, 2022
What should I do if I have a recalled product

You might hear about product recalls every so often – big names with big problems tend to cause a stir in the world of consumer health and safety. And while niche products and lesser-known brands affect a smaller population than popular products sold nation-wide, it still may affect you.

In fact, there were 26 food-related product recalls in July alone, 24 in June, and 40 in May – all from brands you probably know. Just because major news outlets don’t cover it doesn’t mean its importance decreases, and you, as the consumer, have a right to know if you’ll be negatively affected by a product.

You can keep updated with the FDA’s documented list for a list of food recalls, market withdrawals, and safety alerts regarding:

  • Non-meat products
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Seafood
  • Shelled eggs
  • Infant formulas
  • Medicines
  • Medical devices
  • Cosmetics
  • Biologics
  • Radiation emitting products
  • Veterinary drugs
  • Pet food

For meat and processed egg products, visit fsis.usda.gov.

For different recalls from federal agencies, check out recalls.gov.

For vehicles and vehicle-related equipment, you can visit nhtsa.gov.

Why Are Products Recalled?

There are plenty of reasons why products are recalled, and not all of them are due to adverse effects to the consumer, but they are subjected to the same treatment by manufacturers and the FDA.

Recalls are usually voluntary actions that distributors and manufacturers take to keep inside their regulations, which assures their customers the safety they expect. Sometimes, the recalls aren’t because of a risk of injury – they may be because of gross deception, defective parts, or improper handling that doesn’t satisfy FDA law, which makes them subject to legal action.

This subjection to legal action is what classifies the removal as a recall. If a removal is due only to a minor violation that doesn’t subject it to legal action, it is classified as a market withdraw.

Even further, there are three classifications of the presented health degree hazard:

  • Class I – a situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.
  • Class II – a situation in which use of, or exposure to, a violative product may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences or where the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote.
  • Class III – a situation in which use of, or exposure to, a violative product is not likely to cause adverse health consequences.

But, at the end of the day, recalls and market withdraws are usually precautionary, not the result of a guaranteed defect. Even so, proper measures should be taken to avoid any adverse effects, so that you can keep yourself and your community safe.

What Should I Do If I Have a Recalled Product?

Information regarding recalls is always accessible to the public, and any product-specific details will come out immediately with the recall or can be found on the FDA link above. Most generally, however, steps to handle a recalled product should include:

  • Check to see if your product fits into the specifications of the recall

Some recalled products only apply to a specific time frame or location, and the relevant recall dates and locations will be provided. In order to keep consumer lines open to those with defective products, make sure yours are applicable to the recall.

  • Follow the outlined steps

Due to the different ways recalls are handled across the board of consumer goods, there’s a different procedure for individual products. Vehicle recalls will not be handled in the same manner as food recalls, which will not have the same measures as medication recalls. However, most commonly, products are either returned to the point of purchase for reimbursement or correction, or disposed of properly after connecting with consumer services.

Most recalls will list a phone number or service for you to contact should you have possession of a recalled product, but you may also visit foodsafety.gov for direction to the correct agency to report unsafe or mislabeled products.

  • DO NOT donate recalled food, feed it to your pets, eat recalled food, or open recalled food

It may be tempting to check for or brush off recalls, but for the safety of you and your household and community, make sure to properly dispose of recalled food products, and clean any equipment that may have come into contact with the food product.

  • Proceed in a timely manner

In order for your product to be properly dealt with, make sure you don’t put off the return, correction, or disposal of a recall. If it is a food product, the longer it’s in your possession, the more likely it will be unintentionally consumed. If it is a cosmetic, vehicle, or equipment recall, safety may be further compromised the more you use it before getting it replaced, corrected, or disposed of.

Remember, though, not to panic. Recalls are put into place for your safety, but are no cause for acute worry! As long as it is dealt with properly, recalled products are nothing to be afraid of.

However, if you or someone you love has been affected by a recalled product in the State of Kentucky and are in need of an experienced injury attorney, give the lawyers at the Cooper & Friedman law firm a call. The attorneys at Cooper and Friedman PLLC have over 50 years of combined experience defending the rights of personal injury and product liability victims. Schedule a free case consultation with an attorney by calling 502-459-7555 today.

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