National Consumers League

NCL statement on FDA’s draft rule to publicize the identity of food retail consignees following Class I recall

September 26, 2018

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC--The National Consumers League commends Commissioner Scott Gottleib, MD, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for releasing a draft rule on September 26, 2018, that would publicize the names and locations of food retail consignee (i.e., establishment) that have issued a recall due to a food safety risk or the confirmed presence of a food contaminant. Previously, FDA has worked with companies to identify the specific contaminated product or brand, but has refrained from publicizing food distribution or retail information such as store names and locations due to commercial confidentiality concerns. Today’s move represents a step forward for consumers, removing the information burden previously placed onto consumers wishing to protect themselves and their families from contaminated food.

While the rule represents a good first step, NCL believes the FDA could go further in what the rule will cover. For instance, FDA should publicize the retail establishments for all recalls, not only Class I (serious injury or death), as the rule is currently written. The other two classes of recalls, Class II (serious injury or temporary illness), and Class III (unlikely to cause illness or injury but violate federal rules), should also be included in this rule. Further, FDA should include restaurants in the types of retail consignees covered in the draft rule. Currently, it covers grocery stores, pet food stores, and convenience stores that can receive orders in store or online, as well as direct delivery or third-party delivery service.

NCL commends FDA for this effort. The draft rule is open to public comments for 60 days, after which the Administration will evaluate consumer and retailer feedback, issuing proposed guidance.

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.