If you pay any attention to the news, then you know they often announce food recalls. These recalls may be due to contamination that could cause you to get sick if you eat the product or due to mislabeling, which could be bad for someone with severe allergies. In many cases, the recalls are precautionary and do not happen because the product has made someone sick or injured someone.
According to the International Food Information Council Foundation, food recalls can occur in a couple of ways. The manufacturer may become aware of the issue because of mandatory routine testing for safety. It may then voluntarily issue a recall. The government may become aware due to complaints filed by consumers and issue a notice to the manufacturer so that it may issue a recall. In serious cases, the government may issue the recall instead of the manufacturer.
How the recall comes about and whether it is something that should concern you depends on the class of the issue. A Class III issue is one that is not likely to cause health issues for most consumers, but it has the potential to be a hazard to some consumers. A Class II issue is mildly serious. It may cause temporary health issues. For example, the product may contain an irritant that would make you have a rash for a few days after using it.
The most serious issues and those that pose the biggest risks to consumers are Class I. These are likely to cause major health issues, injuries and possibly death if consumers use the product.