For the third time this year, the Agriculture Department yesterday announced a nationwide precautionary recall of expensive gourmet French liver pate containing poisonous bacteria, clostridia.

Assistant Agriculture Secretary Carol Foreman also announced that because of nagging health worries, French liver pate will be accepted only from processors who take "remedial actions" to assure safety.

Shipments in transit from France are exempted, but will reach U.S. consumers only after strigent tests in which government agents will check entire shipments - not just samples - after a 45-day incubation period. The normal period is 10 days.

The recall - the third since May - applies to pates produced by Delpeyrat, a processing plant in Sarlat, France. Officials said consumers can identify them by the numbers "ETS 24-02C" and "ETS 24-02D" on the labels or containers of pate cans or jars.

The recalled Delpeyrat pates bear 13 names, including "Terrine de Foie Gras with Truffles", and "Perigord Liver Pate with Truffles", officials said.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced yesterday that Market Research Imports of Nevada is voluntarily withdrawing from sale some imported replacement bulbs made in Taiwan.

The bulbs have a thin stand of wire, which may protrude from the soldered tip at the base of the bulb and may cause a fire or electrical shock, the commission said. The hazard can be corrected by snipping off the protruding wire, or the consumer may chose to return the blub.

Two models of bulbs are subject to the defect and are identified on the package as item No. LC-9004, size 9 1/4 and item No. LC7004, size 7 1/2.

About 22,000 Plymouth, Dodge and Chrysler 1978 model cars and about 24,000 Dodge 1977 and 1978 light trucks are being recalled to correct potential defects, the Transportation Department announced yesterday.

In separate announcements, Volkswagen of America said it is recaling 18,500 1978 Rabbits and Scirocos with power-assisted brakes. Toyota Motor Co. also announced a recall of 7,000 vehicles for fuel tank defects, but none of the cars involved were sold in the U.S.

The Chrysler Corp. estimates that 2 per cent of the cars may have steerings shafts containing a coupling pin which could fall out, resulting in a loss of steering capability.

Involved are Plymouth Volares and Furys; Dodge Aspens, Monacos, Chargers and Diplomats, and Chrysler Cordobas and LeBarons, with tilt steering columns, which are manufactured between mid-September through early October of this year.

The light truck recall involves Club Cab models manufactured between August 1976 and August 1977.Their fuel tubes running from the fuel tank to the fuel pump may have been improperly routed in such a way that they could be abraded by a part of the underbody. Abrasion of the tube may cause fuel leakage.

The Volkswagens are being recalled because rubber connections on the power-assist units may have been damaged during assembly requiring greater pedal pressure to stop the car.

A VW spokesman said no incidents or injuries have been reported involving the problem.

Toyota is recalling vans, stations wagons and ambulances in its Hi-Ace series to replace defective draft tube solders in the fuel tank.

Recalls of 7,400 Mack trucks and 2,000 Mazda rotary engine cars were announced last week by the National Transportation Safety Administration.

The truck problem is a deficiency in the welds that hold the rear axle spring insulator bracket to the axle housing. The agency said failure of the welds could lead to loss of vehicle control. Involved are certain Mack models equipped with SWTL56, SW56 and SW57 rear tandem wheels.

The Mazdas are being recalled for correction of a carburetor problem that could result in fuel leakage and engine compartment fire. They are 1976 RX-3 sedans, coupes and station wagons with manual transmissions that were sold in the United States.

The trouble is caused by a loose plug on the carburetor. It will be corrected with a sealant.

Owners of the affected trucks and cars will receive recall notices from the manufacturers.

A recall of breathing regulators used by skin divers was announced last week by the Consumer Protection Safety Commission.

The commission said U.S. Divers Co. of Santa Ana, Calif., is recalling all regulators it has sold since Dec. 1, 1976.

The exact number of regulators involved was not immediately available, but several thousand reportedly are involved nationwide.

The scuba regulators contain a potentially defective clamp ring that can cause unseating of the diaphram, resulting in water blocking the inflow of air, the commission said.

The regulators were sold under the model names Conshelf XII, Conshelf Supreme, Calypso J, Calyspo IV, Aquarius, Octopus and Pookah.

Owners of the suspect regulators were urged to stop using them and to take them to the nearest U.S. Divers Co. dealer for replacement of the clamp rim.