Recalls happen when a product isn’t safe for use. Such action is taken by a manufacturer, or the government, to protect the public from products that may cause illness or injuries. Typically, the consumer is advised to return the goods, regardless of condition, to the seller for a full refund, replacement or repair and is instructed to throw away the product to reduce the danger of using the product. 

The most common recalls are food products

Over 3000 food products were recalled last year in the US, according to the US Food and Drug Administration Enforcement reports. Listeria, E. coli, and Salmonella are the most common reasons for food recalls. The recalls were: dry dog food that may contain toxic levels of vitamin D, infant ibuprofen because of a formulation error creating a potency that could cause babies to develop permanent kidney injuries, ongoing beef recall to include more than 12 million pounds of beef, cake mixes, sandwich bread, 4 types of Goldfish Crackers being recalled for possible Salmonella, a fast food restaurant pulls salads from 3,000 stores after parasite Cyclosporiasis.

Examples of recent food recalls

Automotive industry

By law, manufacturers have to notify the owner when there is a recall notice, but in the case of a second, third or fourth owner of the car, the company may be sending the notice to a previous one. If you are driving a used car, frequently check for possible vehicle recalls at

Medication recalls

Believe it or not, drug recalls happen nearly every week. Most drug recalls are initiated voluntarily by the manufacturer, but on occasion, drug recalls can be mandated by the FDA, which categorizes the recall under one of three classes based on how serious the problem is. For example, FDA is trying to recall one of the most frequently taken medications, Metformin, after finding high levels of a probable carcinogen. Since early 2019, the FDA has scrambled to get affected lots out of consumers’ hands. Now, the agency has spotted a sixth drugmaker with a contaminated version of the drug. Your pharmacy or you as a consumer should be notified when a medication recall happens, but it does not always happen. If you are taking subscription medication, it is wise to be proactive and subscribe to a newsletter for alerts. Check for your possible medication recalls at

Recent Metformin lot recalls example

Check before you buy

Before you buy a product, especially for a child or a second-hand product online, find out if the manufacturer has recalled it. Visit this website to find the latest on safety recalls, safety education, and statistics on injuries and potential dangers.                        

Sign up for a newsletter about recalls

Visit, which is run by the government agencies that regulate consumer goods, food, drugs, and transportation. You can sign up to receive e-mail alerts delivered as often as you want—after a recall is announced, daily, or weekly.

Reporting Safety Concerns

Also, 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.

Library Resources:

Product reviews & ratings on cars, appliances, electronics, and more.

Online resources:

FDA: Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Metformin recalls continue as Bayshore pulls diabetes drug on carcinogen scare

Magda Born

Community Services Librarian

Kansas City, Kansas Public Library

625 Minnesota Ave.

Kansas City, KS 66101

913-295-8250 ext 1103