Is it just me or almost all of the device recall data duplicated in OpenFDA? For example, why are there 4 nearly identical entries for recall "Z-3261-2011" when a query for this recall number is made via openFDA, but there is just one when using the web interface?

2 Answers 2


If you click on "Recall Event ID" link for Z-3261-2011 recall record, you see two instances on the online database.

I have not tried the OpenFDA yet, but our previous analysis of medical device recall records between 2006-2013 revealed that over 50 percent of the recalls are duplicates of the same "Recall event" on different models of the same device or similar devices from a manufacturer.

You may find more details here: http://web.engr.illinois.edu/~alemzad1/papers/Alemzadeh_IEEES&P_2013.pdf http://web.engr.illinois.edu/~alemzad1/papers/CBMS_14.pdf

At the time of our study, the FDA online database did not provide the unique "Recall Event ID", so we identified the duplicates by comparing the manufacturer names and reason for recall fields.


I just tried to reproduce and I'm unable to find this at all in the /device/enforcement endpoint:


I also downloaded the entire JSON served by this endpoint and searched over it for "Z-3261-2011" and was unable to find it there.

Finally, I looked what I believe you mean by the web interface here:


and I'm not seeing this recall there either.

Can you confirm this is still an issue? If so, can you send screenshots and/or links so it will be easier for us to reproduce?

  • Hello, thank you for the response. Please see the /device/recall endpoint. Here is a link showing duplicated recalls: api.fda.gov/device/… These are identical entries, save for perhaps differences in firm_fei I think? What makes a unique recall entry in this endpoint? Search the web interface for recall number = "Z-3261-2011" to see one entry: accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfres/res.cfm Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 1:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.