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The FDA's dangerous product recall process


Most products that enter stores for consumers to purchase are safe. Whether they are food items, articles of clothing, or motor vehicles, they have passed safety tests applicable to their industries and have been released for public purchase. However, from time-to-time, some products are introduced to the public with defects or dangers that consumers may not initially see. When such products are discovered to be dangerous, they are often recalled and taken out of the market.

The Food & Drug Administration, a federal agency, regulates the safety of consumable goods offered to Americans through commerce. Practically all of the food and drug products that Montana residents buy are subjected to FDA regulations for safety; when those products fail to meet established safety standards, they must be pulled from store shelves.

The process of pulling dangerous items out of commerce is a recall. When a recall is initiated on a product regulated by the FDA it can happen in several ways. The company that created the dangerous product can voluntarily pull it or the FDA can request that the company pull it after it receives complaints about the product's dangers.

A recall must meet several requirements to be official, and a company subject to a recall generally must have a recall procedure in place that it may implement in the event one of its products is deemed dangerous. As the recall begins, the FDA may issue a notice to consumers that a dangerous product has been placed into stores and the recall may indicate what the consumers should do if they have the dangerous product in their homes.

As the recall process unfolds, the FDA also audits the affected company to ensure that it is complying with the process of removing the product from the market. A recall can last for a long duration of time and the FDA is continually updating its recalled product list so that consumers can stay abreast of what dangerous product are on the market. Food and drug items are not the only types of products that may be subject to recalls, though different products are regulated by different governmental bodies. Attorneys who work in the products liability field of law may be able to offer their clients more information on how to address dangerous product concerns.