U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jul 17, 2024

§ 7.42 - Recall strategy.

(a) General. (1) A recall strategy that takes into account the following factors will be developed by the agency for a Food and Drug Administration-requested recall and by the recalling firm for a firm-initiated recall to suit the individual circumstances of the particular recall:

(i) Results of health hazard evaluation.

(ii) Ease in identifying the product.

(iii) Degree to which the product's deficiency is obvious to the consumer or user.

(iv) Degree to which the product remains unused in the market-place.

(v) Continued availability of essential products.

(2) The Food and Drug Administration will review the adequacy of a proposed recall strategy developed by a recalling firm and recommend changes as appropriate. A recalling firm should conduct the recall in accordance with an approved recall strategy but need not delay initiation of a recall pending review of its recall strategy.

(b) Elements of a recall strategy. A recall strategy will address the following elements regarding the conduct of the recall:

(1) Depth of recall. Depending on the product's degree of hazard and extent of distribution, the recall strategy will specify the level in the distribution chain to which the recall is to extend, as follows:

(i) Consumer or user level, which may vary with product, including any intermediate wholesale or retail level; or

(ii) Retail level, including any intermediate wholesale level; or

(iii) Wholesale level.

(2) Public warning. The purpose of a public warning is to alert the public that a product being recalled presents a serious hazard to health. It is reserved for urgent situations where other means for preventing use of the recalled product appear inadequate. The Food and Drug Administration in consultation with the recalling firm will ordinarily issue such publicity. The recalling firm that decides to issue its own public warning is requested to submit its proposed public warning and plan for distribution of the warning for review and comment by the Food and Drug Administration. The recall strategy will specify whether a public warning is needed and whether it will issue as:

(i) General public warning through the general news media, either national or local as appropriate, or

(ii) Public warning through specialized news media, e.g., professional or trade press, or to specific segments of the population such as physicians, hospitals, etc.

(3) Effectiveness checks. The purpose of effectiveness checks is to verify that all consignees at the recall depth specified by the strategy have received notification about the recall and have taken appropriate action. The method for contacting consignees may be accomplished by personal visits, telephone calls, letters, or a combination thereof. A guide entitled “Methods for Conducting Recall Effectiveness Checks” that describes the use of these different methods is available upon request from the Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. The recalling firm will ordinarily be responsible for conducting effectiveness checks, but the Food and Drug Administration will assist in this task where necessary and appropriate. The recall strategy will specify the method(s) to be used for and the level of effectiveness checks that will be conducted, as follows:

(i) Level A—100 percent of the total number of consignees to be contacted;

(ii) Level B—Some percentage of the total number of consignees to be contacted, which percentage is to be determined on a case-by-case basis, but is greater that 10 percent and less than 100 percent of the total number of consignees;

(iii) Level C—10 percent of the total number of consignees to be contacted;

(iv) Level D—2 percent of the total number of consignees to be contacted; or

(v) Level E—No effectiveness checks.

[43 FR 26218, June 16, 1978, as amended at 46 FR 8455, Jan. 27, 1981; 59 FR 14363, Mar. 28, 1994; 68 FR 24879, May 9, 2003; 88 FR 45064, July 14, 2023]