Product Recalls During the Government Shutdown

October 9, 2013 — By

Product recalls are conducted by several government agencies, with the vast majority falling under the jurisdictions of the FDA, USDA, CPSC and NHTSA.  Recall activity during the government shutdown varies by agency and is described in more detail below, but each of the agencies has warned that information on their websites may not be up-to-date and data feeds from these agencies are not being maintained.

Fortunately, WeMakeItSafer relies on its own data systems and is not impacted by the government shutdown. To the extent that recalls are implemented, you will be able to find the recall information at, and your Items I Own accounts will continue to monitor your belongings as usual.

Here’s the breakdown of recall activity by agency:



The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for food, drugs, cosmetics and medical devices. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees meat and dairy products.  Both agencies have continued to issue recalls and/or advisories over the past week and are expected to continue doing so during the government shutdown.  However, as noted above, notices on both websites warn that information will not be kept up-to-date.  On the FDA website, a statement reads: “Due to the Government shutdown, information on this website may not be up to date.”  The USDA has taken it a step further. Visitors to their homepage see the following:


Even though the websites are not being fully maintained, multiple recalls have been announced since the government shutdown including recalls on ice cream, cookies, bell peppers, diet pills, medical devices and more.  In addition, the USDA has issued a health alert regarding Foster Farms chicken.

You can still see the latest FDA & USDA recalls on, here.



The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues recalls on street-legal vehicles, including commercial vehicles such as school buses, and after-market automotive equipment.  The agency has stated that it will not be publishing recalls during the government shutdown.  A statement on the NHTSA’s website reads:  “Due to a lapse of Federal Government funding, NHTSA is unable to post any new recalls after close of business September 30, 2013.”

To check your vehicle for past recalls and receive alerts on new recalls as they are announced, please do the following:

  1. Start here to find the recall information page for your vehicle.
  2. Review past recall information for your model year.
  3. Then, click the big orange button that reads, “EMAIL Me About New Recalls on This Vehicle” to receive email alerts when a new recall is announced.



The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is responsible for virtually everything else. Products include items such as appliances, baby gear, clothing, electronics, furniture, hardware & tools, sporting goods, and toys. According to a policy statement on the CPSC’s website, during the shutdown, the agency will maintain staff necessary to “issue announcements of emergency recalls and to warn the public of substantial and immediate threats to human safety.”

So far, only one recall has been announced by the CPSC since the government shutdown.   A recall was announced on October 3rd for 15 million surge protectors that have reportedly caused multiple fires that resulted in injury and extensive property damage.

Sign up for alerts on the items you own to receive an email when new recalls are issued.


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