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Number of Recalls Are Down for First Quarter of 2012

A new report on food, drug and medical device recalls was released last month. According to this article, the report, which was based on data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and complied by Stericycle ExpertRECALL, presents mixed data regarding product safety.

The report indicates that the number of devices recalled in the first quarter of 2012 dropped 14 percent over the first quarter of 2011, but increased 161 percent from the previous quarter, which was at an all-time low. The report also indicated that there were 277 recalls in the first quarter of 2012, with the total number of recalled units at 82 million, which is 89 percent higher than the first quarter of 2011 and more than 5 times higher than the previous quarter.

With respect to medical devices, the number of units recalled in the first quarter of 2012 reached a five-quarter high.  Forty-eight companies, or one-third of companies with recalled medical devices, were involved in more than one recall.

In the pharmaceutical industry, there were 69 recalls in the first quarter of 2012, which is the lowest number of recalls in the past five quarters.  This number represents a 29 percent decrease from the number of pharmaceutical recalls in the previous quarter and a. that of the last quarter of the year and a 28 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2011. Even though the number of recalls in the pharmaceutical industry dropped, the total number of pharmaceutical units recalled reached a five quarter high in the first quarter of 2012, with 150 million units recalled.

The report also indicated that, in the category of children's and infant products, there were 1.1 million units recalled during the first quarter of 2012. The primary causes of children's and infant product recalls were the choking risks associated with small parts on products and risks that a child could fall out of the product.

With respect to food recalls, there were 142 food recalls in the first quarter of 2012, which is a 19 percent decrease over the previous quarter but a 26 percent increase over the same quarter in 2011. Nonetheless, there was a 90 percent decrease in the total number of units affected by FDA food recalls in the first quarter of 2012 over the previous quarter.

Consumers are reminded to register new products with the manufacturer so that they can get direct notification in the event that a product is recalled or there are other safety problems with the product. Consumers can also check their products for safety at


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