Product recalls occur when safety issues or defects are discovered that may endanger consumers or put makers and sellers at risk of lawsuits. Some mistakes can occur during the manufacturing process, which can lead to recalls. Public safety alerts may be issued for misbranding or undeclared allergens. Or products may be tainted with bacteria or a foreign object or fail to perform safely as promised. Once a recall is issued, manufacturers often recommend returning, exchanging, or discarding the product(s) in question. Some recalls are mandated by watchdog groups and government public safety agencies, while others are purely voluntary. Manufacturers generally absorb the cost of recalls. The recall process is often a last result as it is costly for companies. Recalls may also negatively affect a company’s reputation and stocks. Fortunately, most companies that recall products put consumer safety first and remain dedicated to resolving issues and restoring public faith in their company and products. As an example, here are three recent product recalls:
- More than thirty aerosol products from Procter & Gamble are being voluntarily recalled due to concerns over the levels of benzene in them. Benzene is a chemical which is known to cause cancer. Per USA Today, the recall includes some dry shampoos and conditioners and specific products under the Pantene, Aussie, Herbal Essences, Hair Food and Waterl<ss brands. Some Old Spice and Secret aerosol sprays were also recalled last month due to the presence of benzene.
- Alexander & Hornung recalls fully cooked pork products due to possible listeria contamination. As of December 11, 2021, the recall has been expanded from 234,391 pounds to 2,320,774 pounds, with an expanded list of fully cooked ham and pepperoni products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes which can cause foodborne illness.
- Per a company announcement on December 17, 2021, Flowers Foods Issued a voluntary recall of a limited quantity of Nature’s Own Honey Wheat Bread sold in six states due to the presence of undeclared milk.
- Almost 140,000 Alaura two-tone jar candles sold at Costco are being recalled as they pose a danger of shattering, cracking or breaking apart while burning, per a recall notice posted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Per Eat This, Not That!, the recall was issued after 138 reports of incidents occurred, three of which resulted in lacerations. The impacted candles were sold at Costco stores nationwide between August and September 2021, for just under $20.
Recalls are designed to keep people safe; thus, it is vital for businesses to inform the public and intervene when issues are discovered. In response to recalls, most companies take action by warning the public and offering refunds, exchanges, or coupons to affected consumers. It is also crucial for consumers to stay informed on product safety. There are many ways to do that, including but not limited to following the news, signing up for consumer emails, registering products, and visiting government websites designed to protect consumers and guard public health. When major recalls occur, it’s also helpful to spread the word to those around you so that you can play a part in keeping others safe. Buyers also bear responsibilities in reporting issues they experience with products by contacting the company or store where the items are sold and reporting health or safety-related information to the proper government agencies.
Helpful resources on recalls:
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is an independent agency of the U.S. government. Protect yourself from recalled products by visiting Your Online Source For Recalls, which lists recalls from federal agencies. Free email notifications on recalls are also available.
Visit nhtsa for safety information on vehicles, car seats, tires, equipment, and more. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is an agency of the U.S. federal government, part of the Department of Transportation.
Sign up to receive the latest food safety news and information from the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) at: Recalls & Public Health Alerts
Visit Recalls and Outbreaks, where individuals can sign up for the latest news, alerts, and tips on safely handling and storing food to prevent food poisoning, and also see the latest recalls and outbreaks.
To sign up to receive recalls, market withdrawals, & safety alerts from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), visit www.fda.gov
Head to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
for the latest information on foodborne disease outbreaks, multistate outbreaks of foodborne illness, surveillance and reporting, and investigations.