An official website of the United States Government
Food recall enforcement reports

api.fda.gov/food/enforcement

Recalls are an appropriate alternative method for removing or correcting marketed consumer products, their labeling, and/or promotional literature that violate the laws administered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

About food recalls and enforcement reports

Recalls are an appropriate alternative method for removing or correcting marketed consumer products, their labeling, and/or promotional literature that violate the laws administered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Recalls afford equal consumer protection but generally are more efficient and timely than formal administrative or civil actions, especially when the product has been widely distributed.

Manufacturers and/or distributors may initiate a recall at any time to fulfill their responsibility to protect the public health from products that present a risk of injury or gross deception, or are otherwise defective. Firms may also initiate a recall following notification of a problem by FDA or a state agency, in response to a formal request by FDA, or as ordered by FDA.

Enforcement reports

An enforcement report contains information on actions taken in connection with FDA regulatory activities. The data served by this API endpoint includes enforcement reports about device product recalls.

This API should not be used as a method to collect data to issue alerts to the public. FDA seeks publicity about a recall only when it believes the public needs to be alerted to a serious hazard. FDA works with industry and our state partners to publish press releases and other public notices about recalls that may potentially present a significant or serious risk to the consumer or user of the product. Subscribe to this Recall/Safety Alert feed here.

Whereas not all recalls are announced in the media or on our recall press release page all FDA-monitored recalls go into FDA’s Enforcement Report once they are classified according to the level of hazard involved. For more information, see FDA 101: Product Recalls from First Alert to Effectiveness Checks.

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How to search this endpoint

Make API calls to https://api.fda.gov/food/enforcement.json using search parameters for fields specific to the food recalls enforcement reports endpoint.

Example API query

One enforcement report

This query searches for all records in a certain date range, and asks for a single one.

See the reference for more about report_date. Brackets [ ] are used to specify a range for date, number, or string fields.

  1. Search for all records with report_date between Jan 01, 2004 and Dec 31, 2013.

  2. Limit to 1 record.

Example API query

One enforcement report of a certain health hazard class

This query searches records of a certain health hazard, and returns a single record.

Double quotation marks " " surround phrases that must match exactly. The plus sign + is used in place of a space character .

  1. Search for all records where classification (health hazard level) was Class III.

  2. Limit to 1 record.

Example API query

Count of voluntary vs. mandated enforcement reports

The vast majority of recalls are firm-initiated. This query searches the endpoint for all records, and tells the API to count how many enforcement reports were for voluntary vs. FDA-mandated recalls.

The suffix .exact is required by openFDA to count the unique full phrases in the field voluntary_mandated. Without it, the API will count each word in that field individually—Firm Initiated would be counted as separate values, Firm and Initiated.

  1. Count the field voluntary_mandated (type of recall).