2012 February product recalls
Like each month this February 2012 has had it’s fair share of product recalls. Hopefully nothing you purchased has had to be recalled but hopefully if it has it will be an easy exchange for you. Here is this month's list of food safety recalls, product withdrawals, allergy alerts and miscellaneous compliance issues. **image1:center*** A spate of recalls and product safety concerns involving everything from pet food and pharmaceutical drugs to hazardous toys has brought increasing scrutiny to China's vast export machine.
Regulators are struggling to keep up in an increasingly globalized marketplace. Consumers are beginning to question whether sensitive goods like food and drugs ought to be imported from China at all.
February recalls, A hard-cooked egg recall led to additional salad recalls. A popular coffeemaker and its supplies were recalled due to burn risks. See what other products were removed from store shelves in February.
Kraft Foods recalled about 4 million packages of its Tassimo Espresso T discs sold from August 2011 to February 2012 after reports of burn injuries. The FSA issues a 'Product Withdrawal Information Notice' or a 'Product Recall Information Notice' to let local authorities and consumers know about problems associated with food. In some cases, a 'Food Alert for Action' is issued. This provides local authorities with details of specific action to be taken on behalf of consumers.
A Product Withdrawal Information Notice or a Product Recall Information Notice is issued where a solution to the problem has been put in place – the product has been, or is being, withdrawn from sale or recalled from consumers, for example. A Food Alert for Action is issued where intervention by enforcement authorities is required. These notices and alerts are often issued in conjunction with a product withdrawal or recall by a manufacturer, retailer or distributor.
Details of the latest product withdrawals and recalls, including Food Alerts for Action, can be found below. Because of the Agency's openness remit, all previous notices and alerts are available. You can find them via the search box at the bottom of this page. In many cases the food issues they refer to will have been resolved.
From June 2010, the FSA changed the way it issues information about product withdrawals and recalls. Product Withdrawal Information Notices and Product Recall Information Notices replace what was known under the previous system as the ‘Food Alert for Information’.
February 2012 children's gear recalls - children's gear, Bumbleride recalled about 30,000 of its Indie and Indie Twin strollers sold from January 2009 to January 2012 after reports of broken parts.
Babies can be difficult to buy for. Many of us want to celebrate this most special arrival with a gift of some kind, but there are few presents you can give to a baby which they will appreciate. It’s well known that babies will ignore the carefully crafted gift and instead enjoy the cardboard box or another otherwise boring item. Finding something which they like is one thing, but finding something which they can enjoy and which will last, well that’s another.
At this point many people give up and buy a present for the parents instead. Mothers who have been teetotal for nine months might appreciate a tipple, and there is a long list of presents which new parents will appreciate. Useful they may be, but nappies and prams don’t make the most exciting of gifts. The best way to give something which has meaning, which can be treasured and which is individually tailored to the occasion, is to opt for a personalised present. Whether it is jewellery or stationary engraved with special dates or messages, or a cuddly toy with somebody’s name on it, personalised baby presents have the effect of becoming treasured possessions will help the owner be reminded of this special time.
Health and Safety
One of the main things to consider when buying a present for a baby is to ensure that it will actually survive. Remember that anything which resides inside the cot is likely to be chewed, eaten, thrown around and potentially mistreated. Soft, robust toys which can withstand this much love make the best baby presents. Soft textures and bright colours are usually preferred by babies, who can carry on loving their soft toys right into their university days.
Alternatively you could consider gifting items which reside outside the cot, including mobiles which are always a popular choice. Mobiles are designed to give babies something interesting and colourful to watch while they wile away the hours in the cot, snoozing, feeding and cuddling their soft toys. Mobiles are ideal because babies can’t destroy them, as they are attached to the ceiling.
Teddy bears and soft toys can become treasured keepsakes, being kept in special places for decades. There are other types of gifts which have this type of staying power, especially if they are customised with names, dates and places. It gives them a timeless quality and it means their origin will always be remembered.
There are loads of great customisable presents out there, including quality stationary, clothing, furniture or musical instruments. Engraving or otherwise personalising an item like this is a great way of ensuring it doesn’t end up as somebody else’s birthday or Christmas present. An engraved pen can travel with a child through school, while baby clothes could end up being worn by siblings, children or soft toys. You could even personalise a bottle of wine if you want it to be cherished for a long time.
Bumbleride recalled about 30,000 of its Indie and Indie Twin strollers sold from January 2009 to January 2012 after reports of broken parts.
Children's toys & clothing
Tumblekins Toys recalled about 31,000 of its toys due to a possible choking hazard.In researching logos for children’s toys and clothing stores, I assumed I would find several things which all turned out not to be true, which are outlined below. What we did find instead – a great diversity of design and style – was a pleasant surprise!
My first assumption is that most logos were going to be cheap copies of the Toys R Us logo. That was not true for the most part. A few logos exhibit perhaps some influence, but it’s muted, if present at all.
A second assumption was that I was going to come across many unseemly uses of Comic Sans or other derivative fonts. We did find, as expected, a few child-handwriting type logos but they evoke none of the ill-will that Comic Sans does. However, we did find some Tekton (a second-cousin of Comic Sans) and Mistral (The snazzy brush script equivalent of Comic Sans) related entries. See if you can spot them below.
The most surprising finding was the use of elegant and understated logotypes with sophisticated typography. There are quite a few minimal and beautifully-crafted treatments below.
The wide array of design treatments reveals that the children’s toy and clothing market is very diverse and segmented. Since children are in every socio-economic level, it follows that that stores catering to different demographics will have different branding strategies and retail experiences to accommodate them. Of course this is obvious in hindsight.
If anything, my assumptions reveal the masterful job that Toys R Us (and offshoot stores) has done in dominating the market (in my mind at least)!
The research and findings were very interesting to us, and we hope for you as well.
What do you think? Please comment below…
Wholistic Herbs recalled all quantities of its 1-ounce-size Koff & Kold and Kold Sore sprays due to a possible health risk. Identification of microbial contaminants in product recalls and environmental samples provides important information on the possible contamination sources and distribution of microbial species in pharmaceutical environments. Analysis of FDA product recall data for 134 non-sterile pharmaceutical products from 1998 to September 2006 demonstrated that 48% of recalls were due to contamination by either Burkholderia cepacia, Pseudomonas spp., or Ralstonia picketti, while yeast and mold contamination were found in 23% of recalls. Gram-negative bacteria accounted for 60% of recalls, but only 4% were associated with Gram-positive bacteria. Of the 193 recalls of sterile products, 78% were due to the lack of sterility assurance and 7% for yeast and mold contamination. For sterile products, Gram-negative bacteria accounted for 6% of recalls, with only 1% due to Gram-positive bacteria. For non-sterile and sterile products, B. cepacia was the most frequently isolated microbial species with 22% and 2.5% of recalls, respectively. Based upon the review of the scientific literature, B. cepacia, Pseudomonas spp., or Ralstonia picketti may be associated with water contamination, while yeast and mold and Gram-positive bacteria may have indicated deficient environmental controls. The presence of unculturable microbial populations in pharmaceutical waters and clean rooms was reported, but no evidence has been published that product quality was negatively affected.
Meat & seafood products
Han Yang Inc. recalled approximately 25,600 pounds of its cooked pork hocks due to an undeclared allergen. JAA Meat Products, a Maywood, California establishment, is recalling an undetermined amount of meat and poultry products as they may have been produced without the benefit of federal inspection, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
The products subject to the recall are: Scalded Beef Omasum Tripe; Honeycomb Beef Tripe; Scalded Beef Tripe Menudo De Vovino; Beef Tripe; Pork chops; Beef short ribs; Beef tongues; Boneless beef shank;Boneless beef ribeye lipon; Boneless beef short plate; Boneless beef strip loin; Beef fat; Pork uteri; Chicken feet; and duck feet.
The products were sold within California. The problem was identified during an on-going investigation by FSIS.
FSIS has received no reports of illness due to consumption of these products. The agency has advised anyone concerned about an illness to contact a health care provider.
The Container Store recalled about 7,200 of its Lush Life power strips sold from October 2011 to December 2011 due to possible fire hazard. All electrical goods sold in NSW must meet the requirements of the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2004 and its Regulations. This legislation covers the distribution of safe electrical appliances and other electrical goods. There are 56 categories of electrical equipment mentioned in the legislation.
Electrical equipment in these categories, known as declared articles, must be tested and approved before they can be sold. Declared articles must be approved by NSW Fair Trading, its equivalent in another Australian State or an independent certifier. All other electrical articles (non-declared articles) are required to be safe to use. A brief summary of declared articles is listed below. A comprehensive list, by definition, is available on the Fair Trading website in the document Electrical appliances and equipment requirements for their sale in NSW.
The easiest way to know if an item is approved is to check if it has an approval mark. Approved electrical goods are normally identified by a marking consisting of a capital letter (corresponding to the authorising state or territory) followed by a certificate number. Some small articles may be permitted to use other approval marks (eg. a trade name). Examples of acceptable electrical safety approval marks in NSW are shown in the next column.
Before you accept delivery of, or sell any, electrical goods covered by the Act, make sure your supplier provides you with a copy of a recognised Australian Certificate of Approval.
Overseas Certificates of Approval and approval marks, such as the CE mark, are not acceptable in Australia.
The Act provides for an acquisition guarantee as a defence in a prosecution for certain offences.
Under certain conditions your supplier may guarantee compliance with requirements and may become liable in your stead.
The maximum penalty for selling, importing, hiring or exchanging unmarked or unapproved electrical goods is $82,500 and/or two years imprisonment for an individual or $825,000 for a corporation.
February 2012 vehicle recalls - Vehicles, Subaru recalled nearly 400 of its model year 2012 Legacy and Outback cars due to possible airbag problems.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced a safety recall of 14,220 Chaperone infant car seats manufactured by Britax Child Safety Inc.
The NHTSA said the recall is due to a defective rivet in the car seat’s harness adjuster. The defective rivet can cause the harness adjuster to detach from the seat, which make the safety harness straps unable to properly restrain child occupants.
The NHTSA said the Britax recall affects seat models E9L692J, E9L692K, E9L692L and E9L692M that were manufactured between Sept. 1, 2010 and April 30, 2011.
Owners of car seats that are included in the recall should stop using the product immediately and contact the manufacturer, the NHTSA said.
Subaru recalled nearly 400 of its model year 2012 Legacy and Outback cars due to possible airbag problems. With the winter driving season upon us, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reminding all drivers to check their vehicles and take necessary precautions before taking to the roads.
“It’s not uncommon for families to travel long distances or through inclement weather to celebrate the holidays or visit with loved ones,” said Administrator David L. Strickland, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With this in mind, it’s important that drivers properly maintain their vehicles and always drive responsibly – never texting behind the wheel or driving drunk and always wearing a seat belt.”
To ensure safe travels this holiday season and through the New Year, NHTSA recommends that drivers take the following precautions:
With the new year came many drug recalls. "In the first six weeks of 2012, there were at least 13 drug-related recalls," says Amy Peak, director of Drug Information Services for Butler University. Some were due to bacterial contamination. Eight distinct bacterial contaminants were identified in one over-the-counter product.
Other recent drug-related recalls include:
Prescription birth control pills with incorrect dosage and/or incorrect packaging sequence, which could lead to unintended pregnancies.
Two prescription injectable products whose vials contained glass particles.
Over-the-counter “dietary supplements” that contained undeclared prescription drugs, such as sibutramine and tadalafil. (Sibutramine can cause increased heart rate and blood pressure. It has been withdrawn from the market.)
“Drug-related recalls are a significant consumer safety issue,” says Peak. “It is important to understand the type of recall, the reason for the recall, and what action should be taken if a product is recalled.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) categorizes recalls as Class I, II or III. A Class I recall is the most serious and involves situations in which there is a reasonable probability that the product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death. Class II recalls are those in which the product may cause temporary or reversible adverse health consequences or the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote. Class III recalls are those in which exposure to the product is not likely to cause adverse health consequences.
“Overall, the total number of Class I recalls is steadily increasing,” says Peak, “although the number of recalls involving prescription drugs and regulated over-the-counter drugs is relatively stable." In 2010, almost 70 percent of the approximately 160 Class I recalls involved products sold as dietary supplements. Many consumers assume that dietary supplements (such as herbal products) are “natural” and thus must be safer than prescription drugs. According to Peak, “This assumption is not always accurate.”
When there is a drug-related recall, what should a consumer do? Peak offers these suggestions:
Be aware of all prescription and over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements used by anyone in the family.
Pay attention to all drug-related product recalls. Information about recalls is typically reported in local news programing. Additionally, the FDA has many ways to distribute this information, including posting information on its website, applications for smart phones, and via Twitter (@FDArecalls).
Be able to identify the specific manufacturer of drug products and dietary supplements used by all family members. This information is included on the label of prescription drugs dispensed by pharmacies and on the package of over-the-counter drugs and supplements.
If you have a product affected by a recall, look for the specific instructions as to if you should stop taking the product and how to return it. If you are unclear, ask your pharmacist.
If you choose to use dietary supplements, purchase products which have the United States Pharmacopeia Dietary Supplement Verification Program (USP DSVP) or Consumer Labs seal on the label, to help assure the product was manufactured properly.
Amy Peak is a clinical pharmacist and director of the Drug Information Services at Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Her areas of expertise include medication safety, medical information, dietary supplements and herbal products.
Ganz U.S.A. recalled about 2,100 of its dancing teapots sold nationwide from December 2011 to January 2012.