The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today the launch of a new online tool aimed at making it easier for consumers to search for information on food related recalls.

The new tool was mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in January. It organizes items in its database by date, brand, product name, product description, the company doing the recall, and the reason for the recall. This follows on the heals of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) launching a new site related to product safety and recalls last month, as we reported here.

The new tool, which can be viewed at: www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls, also includes information on recalls related to drugs, biologics, veterinary products and medical devices. The database also has information on safety alerts and market withdrawals for products that the FDA oversees.

Nancy Donley, president of Safe Tables Our Priority (STOP) said of the new tool “The earlier iteration of the page presented recall information in a jumble of text and it wasn’t always in a single spot. You had to go to a couple of different places. The information is now in one place. It’s a lot easier to navigate and consumers get a more complete picture.”

The tool has information on recalls going back to 2009. However, in testing by Sure Start News, we found that the dates only appear on the front end of the tool going back to February, 2010. Recalls issued before that time have a blank date field, though the date is on the actual announcement when the ‘detail’ link is clicked on.