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Protect Yourself from Recalled Products

Recalls happen when a large quantity of a product isn't safe for use. A government agency or the manufacturer will then alert the public.

A recall is an action taken by a manufacturer, or the government, to protect the public from products that may cause illness or injuries. They will recommend that people take a specific action.

Some recalls ban the sale of an item and instruct you to throw away the product. Other recalls ask you to return the item for replacement or repair. The seller will replace the defective part, to reduce the danger of using the product. Commonly recalled products include:

  • child safety seats
  • cosmetics
  • food
  • medication
  • toys
  • vehicles

Before you buy a product, find out if the manufacturer has recalled it. Be especially careful if you are buying a product for a child. Visit these websites to find the latest on safety recalls:

  • lists recalls from federal agencies. You can sign up for free email notifications on recalls.
  • publishes safety information on vehicles and equipment such as children's car seats.
  • lists meat, sausage, poultry, and processed egg product recalls
  • lists recalls that involve food (non-meat products; fruits; vegetables; seafood; shelled eggs; infant formulas), medicines, medical devices, cosmetics, biologics, radiation emitting products, veterinary drugs, and pet food.
  • publishes notices of food recalls and alerts from both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Reporting Safety Concerns

The government accepts complaints about unsafe and mislabeled products.  

  • directs you to the correct agency to report unsafe food products. This includes pet food and food sold in restaurants.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration accepts complaints about defective vehicles and car accessories.
  • allows you to report incidents and safety concerns with consumer products, You can also read about incidents reported by other people.
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Last Updated: August 23, 2019