FDA Launches Food Recall Search Engine

Effective immediately, consumers can search for <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">food recalls, as well as other recalled product, easier and quicker on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website than previously, the agency announced. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law in January by President Obama, called for a more consumer-friendly recall search engine.

To provide greater ease of use for consumers, the search results provide data from news releases and other recall announcements in the form of a table. That table organizes information from news releases on recalls as far back as 2009, with data detailed by date, product brand name, product description, recall reason, and the recalling firm.

The table also provides a link to the news release on each recall so that consumers are provided with more detailed information. The news releases were chosen as the source of information for the table because they provide the most up-to-date and user-friendly information about any recall. The new display of the search results is markedly different from the previous display, which provided links in a scroll-down format.

Under FSMA, FDA was required to provide a consumer-friendly recall search engine within 90 days after the law went into effect. Also, for recalls conducted under FSMA, it requires FDA to indicate whether the recall is ongoing or has been completed. Prior to passage of FSMA, FDA did not have mandatory recall authority for food and feed products other than infant formula.

“Recalls, mandatory or otherwise, are serious and we must do everything possible to make it easier for people to know about these recalls so they can take all appropriate steps to protect themselves and their families,” said Mike Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods. “We encourage people to check out our new recalls search page for themselves, and use it whenever they have a question about a recall.” 

According to FSMA requirements, for certain recalls, the search results will also provide status information on if the recall is complete or ongoing and status information will be provided for those recalls for which FDA either ordered a mandatory recall or provided the opportunity for a voluntary recall under FDA’s FSMA authority. 

“The new search page not only provides consumers with an easy-to-read table of information on products they are searching for, it also represents the delivery of one of the first major actions called for under the Food Safety Modernization Act,” said Mike Taylor. “That delivery is on time and right on target, and we appreciate the involvement of stakeholders.” 

Prior to launching the new Web search, the FDA consulted with stakeholder groups such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumers Union, Food Marketing Institute, Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Pew Health Group, and Safe Tables Our Priority to gain insights on the most effective way in which to communicate recall information to consumers. “We welcome the suggestions of those with first-hand experience in communicating information to consumers about food recalls, said Taylor. “We intend to continue to reach out to stakeholders as we make additional improvements in sharing recall information.”

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