‘Tis (Always) the Season for Recalls
Product recalls happen all the time in the United States. So what recalls has Arizona seen lately? And what can you do when a product you bought has been recalled?
Sample Recalls in Arizona
In the middle of November 2017, a recall was announced for several ready-to-eat chicken and turkey salads sold by Green Cuisine in California. The products were marked as “Trader Joe’s” salads and contained silica and glass fragments, posing a danger to anyone who inadvertently ate one. While the packages were made in California, hundreds of them made their way into Arizona. The FDA hasn’t reported any illnesses or injuries resulting from these products yet, but it advised people to return the salads to the place of purchase or discard them.
Later in November, another food recall was made, this time affecting the Fit & Active Chocolatey Chip Protein Meal made by Leclerc Foods. This product had small pieces of plastic inside, and the recall was made after the defect was found by consumers. Again, no injury or illnesses were reported, and the company issued a limited voluntary recall. While only one lot was affected, that lot made it to Arizona along with 20 other states.
And in December 2017, Kroger had to recall Comforts FOR BABY Purified Water with Fluoride. Mold was found, which could seriously injure a baby’s eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs if consumed. The water wasn’t just sold at Kroger stores. Food 4 Less, Jay C Food Plus, Payless Super Market, and Ruler stores also carried the product.
But it’s not just food that’s been recalled. Vehicle recalls have also made the headlines, and will continue to do so. In 2014, General Motors came under fire after issuing a recall for almost six million sedan cars. The ignition switch could automatically turn off, bringing the cars to a halt and causing serious accidents. Before the recall was issued, several hundred people died or suffered injuries as a result of this defect.
The General Motors recall highlighted the importance of consumer awareness when purchasing and using various products. While the company was certainly at fault (particularly because it tried to hide the flaws in design before selling the vehicles), consumers who stay on top recalls happening around the country have a better chance of saving themselves a great deal of injury or illness.
How You Can Take Action
Before purchasing anything, check to make sure that the item has not been recalled. This can be done through several websites the federal government has set up to help keep consumers safe. Checking is especially important when you buy something second-hand, as the original owner may not have realized it was recalled. While stores are required by law to remove unsafe or recalled products from their shelves, second-hand stores rarely check to determine if the used product has been recalled.
For items that are under the FDA’s control such as food, medicines, cosmetics, and pet food, https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/default.htm allows consumers to search for a product and check its recall status. Consumers can also sign up at https://www.recalls.gov/ and get email notifications for when other products are recalled, such as food, medicine, toys, and even motor vehicles. Other websites designed to keep people safe are https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues and https://www.saferproducts.gov/Default.aspx. Both websites report on recent recalls and allow consumers to search for products that they may have purchased or are considering purchasing.
When a recall has been announced, it will typically include directions on the next steps consumers should take. Those may involve returning the product, or in minor cases, the manufacturer may send a kit so that consumers can correct the problem on their own.
No one wants to own a product that’s been recalled. Consumers often feel discouraged, upset, and stressed when they find out they have purchased a recalled product. But hearing about a recall, and knowing the proper steps to take, can make it much easier for everyone. If you have questions about Arizona product recalls from a legal perspective, feel free to call Breyer Law Offices, P.C., at (602) 267-1280. We’ve represented many victims affected by recalls, and we may be able to help you, too.