How do you find out about product recalls?

If a product is recalled, you’ll know about it, right? Well, the answer isn’t really that clear. Depending on what the product is and if the company or manufacturer is aware that you bought it, you may or may not be notified of a recall at all.

It’s pretty common for people to be notified of recalls involving their vehicles, for example, but it is less common for people to know when toys or food items are recalled. To know about a recall, you may have to do your own due diligence.

5 methods to learn more about potential recalls

If you want to know about the latest recalls, you can stay informed by checking in a few different places.

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall list

The NHTSA has guidance on finding out about recalls involving your vehicle. You can visit the NHTSA website and type in your VIN.

  • Sign up for emails from

If you sign up for emails at, you’ll be notified of major recalls.

  1. Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website

Before you buy a product, visit the U.S. FDA’s website to see all food recalls as well as medical device recalls, cosmetic recalls and others.

  1. Go to

Go to to learn specifically about recalls involving food around the country.

  1. Go to

If you log onto, you’ll find out more about sausage, poultry, egg and meat recalls.

Each of these different websites and programs keeps track of different kinds of recalls, so you can stay informed.

Should you check recalls before you buy items?

Yes, if you can. It’s particularly important to check for recalls before you buy items for children. Clothing items, toys and medications are all items to check before you purchase them. The sites above will have information on the specific lot numbers of items that aren’t good or the brands that you have to avoid, so you can prevent dangerous items from coming into your home and putting yourself or your children in danger. If you do get hurt and find out that an item is on a recall list, you can use that information to make a claim.