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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Science & Research

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Volume IV - 14.2 Introduction

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Orientation and Training

Food and Drug Administration


Section 14 - Complaints & Tampering

REVISED: 02-14-13

The Agency's consumer complaint system is a crucial source of information on potentially unsafe products in the US marketplace. Complaints involving death, serious illness, or injury are given the highest priority and demand an immediate response. Complaints about infant formula, baby food and medical foods are especially sensitive due to the vulnerability of the population that consumes these products. Evaluation of injury/illness complaints having to do with dietary supplements is important to the Agency for regulation and protection of the consumer from unsafe supplements. Product tampering is an intentional adulteration of a product that is frequently brought to the Agency's attention by a consumer complaint.

Laboratory examination and analysis of complaint/tampering samples will allow the Agency to assess the  severity and scope of the potential problem. Analytical results are fundamental to development of a response that will minimize risk to the public.

Note: This section is intended to be used as a whole. Critical information may be overlooked if individual sub-sections are read out of context.