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How can I protect myself from recalled products?

Unsafe products sometimes make their way to the shelves for consumers to purchase. In some cases, the manufacturers might be aware of the issue before the items are sold; however, the defects are sometimes missed during testing and found out later. In either case, it is crucial for you to know how to protect yourself from recalled products.

What types of products can be recalled?

Any product that is sold to consumers can be recalled if there are issues that require a recall. Food, medication, cosmetics, toys, furniture, child safety seats, vehicles, vehicle components and anything else that is sold can all be recalled. Recalls can be initiated by the manufacturer, but are often overseen by a government agency.

What government agencies handle recalls?

The agencies involved in a recall depend on what items are recalled. For example, if a drug or medical device is recalled, the Food and Drug Administration handles the recall. That agency also handles the recall of non-meat foods, cosmetics and animal-related products. Meat product recalls are handled by the United States Department of Agriculture.

What should I do if I have a recalled product?

Recalls have specific instructions. Some recalls require you to return the product. Other recalls include instructions for getting a part to reduce the danger. In some cases, a recall forbids the sale of the item.

If you were injured by a recalled product, you might opt to file a product liability lawsuit. If that occurs, you should work to understand how the process works so that you know what to expect.

Source: USA.gov, "Protect Yourself from Recalled Products," accessed March 18, 2016

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