How to Protect Yourself From Recalled Products

  • Reporter

How to protect yourself from recalled products.

If you don’t know the item may cause health or safety problems when you bought it, how would you even know there is recall on it.

First of all, what is a recall? A recall is an action taken by a manufacturer, or the government, to protect the public from products (such as medications, food, vehicles, child safety seats, cosmetics, and more) that may cause health or safety problems.

Some recalls ban the sale of an item, and some ask consumers to return the item for replacement or repair. Often you will have to do your due diligent and find out if your item is part of a recall. It could be something simple as checking date codes to see if your product is affected and contacting the manufacturer for them to send you replacement parts or brand new one. Sometimes, a seller will provide a part that reduces the danger of using the product.

Before you buy a product, especially a used or secondhand one, be sure to check that the manufacturer has not recalled it. A quick google search typically the name of item and the word recall will yield sufficient search results. If you are buying a product for a child, such as toys, clothing, cribs, and costume jewelry, be especially careful. Visit these websites to find the latest on safety recalls:

  • lists government-initiated 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 recalls that involve meat, sausage, poultry, and processed egg products.
  • 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 mislabled products.  

  • directs you to the correct agency to report unsafe food products, including 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, and search for incidents reported by other consumers.