Monday 29 April 2013

Healthy Canadians - The Recall

One of the ways we can protect ourselves is by keeping our eyes and ears open for recalls and advisories.  To make this easier Health Canada offers the Healthy Canadians Website .  This site is dedicated to providing us with a wide range of information to keep us healthy:   food guides, travel health notices, "get active" tip sheets, pregnancy information, and environmental concerns.  

The section we are looking at for this post is the Recalls and Alerts.  This is one of the first sections in the navigation bar.  This web application includes recalls from Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Transport Canada.  It lists alerts concerning consumer products, health products, food, and vehicles.

These can be searched individually or you can view all alerts together.  The website is very user-friendly, and there are several other options for obtaining alerts.  These range from email newsletters, RSS feeds  on  these topics,  check-in using Twitter or Facebook, and mobile apps for your phone or tablet.  You are able to customize what sort of recalls you want to be made aware of as soon as they are posted. 

The recall is very detailed, giving you information on what type of hazard, who instituted the recall and when.  There will be specifics on how widespread the distribution is and who to contact regarding the recall.  They provide many ways to identify your product using names,  manufacturing dates, UPC codes  and  images .  

This site also provides links to any government departments that might pertain to your recall to ensure you are getting the most up to date information.    On our end there is an opportunity at the bottom of the page for public participation in two ways.  One is by reporting any problems we encounter, whether it is with food labelling or vehicle safety.  The other is to take part in public consultations.  There is a calendar and subject list so you can choose the topics that interest you.

So whether you bookmark it on your home computer, sign up for alerts or check in on Facebook, the Recall section of the Healthy Canadians website is there to help you stay safe and healthy.

--Patricia Milner, Head of Reference

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