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The FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition recently made a new database public for consumers. This database catalogs information about adverse events and product complaint reports submitted to the FDA for foods, dietary supplements and cosmetics, which were previously only available through specific Freedom of Information Act requests.

Adverse event (AE) and product quality complaint (PQC) reporting has been and continues to be a top priority in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industry. The advent of this new database represents a shift, and reminds us that AE and PQC intake should not be limited solely to healthcare. It is just as important and relevant for the consumer product goods industry as well.

Why should brands voluntarily report?

Unlike the pharmaceutical industry, in which AE and PQC reporting is required, the reporting requirement among food, supplements and cosmetics is significantly less stringent. Still, as consumers continue to become more and more savvy and are doing their own research on brands, adopting a more transparent practice can benefit companies in the long run and help establish greater trust among consumers.

Meeting customers where they are

If consumers do find or experience an issue with a product, it’s critical that consumers know where and how to turn to you. Making it easy for consumers to engage with a fully trained and experienced brand ambassador is part of our strategy — allowing for access to toll-free numbers directly on packages, text support or social media response is all part of our multichannel approach.

Putting a proper system in place

It’s key for companies, in particular food manufacturers, to ensure there is a proper system in place for monitoring, receiving, reporting and resolving AEs and PQCs. Doing so ensures that brands can easily and quickly identify AEs and PQCs from consumers, which in turn may inform larger issues at hand, such as product recalls or safety issues. Establishing a process means that these issues are handled swiftly and resolved properly by the brand, ensuring customer satisfaction and ultimately improving your product.


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