• Decrease font size
  • Return font size to normal
  • Increase font size
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Safety

  • Print
  • Share
  • E-mail

Recalls Background and Definitions

Recalls are actions taken by a firm to remove a product from the market. Recalls may be conducted on a firm's own initiative, by FDA request, or by FDA order under statutory authority.

 

  • Class I recall: a situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.
  • Class II recall: a situation in which use of or exposure to a violative product may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences or where the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote.
  • Class III recall: a situation in which use of or exposure to a violative product is not likely to cause adverse health consequences.
  • Market withdrawal: occurs when a product has a minor violation that would not be subject to FDA legal action. The firm removes the product from the market or corrects 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.
  • Medical device safety alert: issued in situations where a medical device may present an unreasonable risk of substantial harm. In some case, these situations also are considered recalls.