The FDA and USDA group recall announcements into one of three categories. These categories are based on the level of hazard involved with the product.
- Class I recalls are those where dangerous or defective products have or may cause serious health problems or death. Missouri further classifies this type of recall into one of three classifications.
- High priority recalls are where the recalled product has been reported to have caused illness or injury in Missouri citizens. Follow-up with distribution sites is to occur within two working days to assure the product is no longer available to the public.
- Medium priority recalls are where the recalled product has been reported to have caused illness or injury in other states but not in Missouri. Within three working days, follow-up with distribution sites will occur to assure removal of the product.
- Low priority recalls are those where the recalled product has been found to be adulterated by laboratory testing or other official means such as label review for undeclared allergens. No illnesses have been reported at this level and follow-up to assure that distributed product has been removed occurs during routine inspections.
- Class II recalls are those where the recalled product may cause temporary health problems or poses only a slight risk of a serious nature. Follow-up with distribution sites should occur during routine inspections when distribution information is available.
- Class III recalls are those where products are unlikely to cause any adverse health reactions but violates labeling or manufacturing regulations such as a lack of English language labeling.
The federal, state and local partners work closely to assure the appropriate response occurs to protect the public from illness or injury from recalled products. Procedures followed by food safety inspectors can be accessed in this manual Environmental Health Operation Guidelines, Section 2.8.