There are essentially four types of food recalls overseen by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
1. Market Withdrawal
This is a voluntary recall undertaken by a manufacturer, distributor, or wholesaler. For example, a peanut butter manufacturer may discover potential problems with broken seals on jars. Rather than risk sending a poor product to market, the company pulls the product. Market withdrawals are typically done out of an overabundance of caution to avoid legal action and brand tarnishing. The general public often never learns about the withdrawals, since they are so low profile.
2. Class III recall
Class III recalls involve the withdrawal of foodstuffs or food products due to the possibility that exposure to them might cause some health problems in some people. Often, the risks are minimal, but they are generally more substantial than the risks associated with market withdrawals.
3. Class II recall
This is a slightly more serious classification. This is issued if a product could, in a small number of instances, cause negative health impacts that are “reversible” or “temporary.”
4. Class I recall
This recall is the most urgent. It’s issued for products which could cause potentially “irreversible” and/or “severe” health impacts in certain exposed individuals.
If you have been sickened by food that was recalled or should have been recalled, you may be able to take legal action against a liable party to recover damages for your medical bills, time off work, pain and suffering, and loss of future wages. Dial the Bernard Law Group now at 1-800-418-8282 to explore your options with an experienced Tacoma foodborne illness lawyer.