5 Product Recall Terms All Retail RDs Should Know

5 Product Recall Terms All Retail RDs Should Know

July 20, 2016

by RDBA Contributing Editor Amanda Rubizhevsky, MPH, NC

While it’s likely that product recalls are not a primary responsibility in your role as a retail dietitian, understanding this area will be helpful as you engage with shoppers. Some recalls can deal with mislabeled allergens and food safety, with clear cross over to your shopper engagement.  The five terms included here will expose you to this important area of your retailer’s business.  

Product Recall: the process of retrieving defective goods from consumers and providing those consumers with compensation. Recalls often occur as a result of safety concerns over a manufacturing defect in a product that may harm its user. Products are often recalled due to potential exposure to an allergen, undisclosed ingredient, harmful substance/organism. Recalls may be conducted on a firm’s own initiative, by FDA request, or by FDA order under statutory authority. 

There are three types of product recalls:

Class I Recall: a class one recall is the most serious of the three recalls. This is a situation in which there is reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to the product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.

Class II Recall: a recall in which use of or exposure to the food product may cause temporary adverse health consequences or where the probability of serious adverse health consequences is low.

Class III Recall: a recall for products which are unlikely to cause injury or illness, but that violate FDA regulations. Examples include: a minor container defect or lack of English labeling on a food product.

Market Withdrawal: a withdrawal that occurs when a product has a minor violation that would not be subject to FDA legal action. The company is responsible for removing the product from the market or correcting the violation. For example, a product removed from the market due to tampering, without evidence of manufacturing or distribution problems, would be a market withdrawal.