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How does the FDA handle a product recall?

Product recalls happen all the time. You have probably heard about them on television, radio or through other media sources in Pennsylvania. When they happen, they are often issued by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. The FDA regulates common consumer products including food, medications, medical devices and cosmetics.  

There are three classes of recalls the FDA makes. Class III is for products that violate FDA label laws or other manufacturing laws and are not likely to cause actual harm to you. Class II is for products that pose a slight threat or could cause a temporary health issue. Class I recalls are for products that could cause you serious harm. 

When the FDA is alerted to a potential product defect or issue, it alerts the public. It does this most often by issuing statements to news outlets, but it also may post on its website or send out a press release. Typically, only the most serious recalls, Class I or II, are released to the media for immediate publication. Less serious recalls may just be published on the FDA's website. 

Then, the FDA makes sure steps are taken to remove the products from the market and further protect you and other consumers from getting the defective products. It also conducts an investigation to find out what happened and why the defect occurred. 

The FDA gets alerted about defective products through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by companies, through inspections and reports or from consumers. This information is for education and is not intended as legal advice. 

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