Though much remains to do, there has been progress in recent years in providing the public with information about food safety recalls.
An important development has been a USDA policy to release information about the retailers where recalled products were sold. Previously, this information was hard to get. Currently, the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) seems to provide retailer information about some but not all recalls.
There is a new widget for food safety recalls and alerts from the federal government's consolidated food safety page (I don't have the widget working right yet, and may add it to the sidebar in the future). Hat tip to Marion Nestle's Food Politics blog.