Food Recalls: New Industry Food Recall Package Available Online

By Joe Lederman
© FoodLegal, March 2006.

On 16 January 2006, major food and grocery suppliers, retailers and wholesalers adopted new food recall protocols with the aim of streamlining a food product’s recall or withdrawal. The package is available from the Australian Food and Grocery Council website[1].

The procedures were written by ECR Australasia, the joint industry body supported by the Boards of the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), Australian Retailers Association (ARA), National Association of Retail Grocers of Australia (NARGA), New Zealand Grocery Marketers' Association (Inc) (NZGMA), New Zealand Retail Merchants Association (NZRMA) and Foodstuffs (NZ) Ltd.

The package includes a one page flowchart, a two page contact list and a seven page form. The form is intended to provide a ‘one stop shop’ which manufacturers, suppliers and retailer corporate brands (‘sponsors’) can use to notify government agencies, distribution centres, retailers and consumers (via the media) in the event of  a food recall.

The package can form part of the food recall system that is required by Chapter 3.2 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, which prescribes that businesses which wholesale supply, manufacture or import food must write their own food recall system and comply with it in the event of a recall. The package facilitates the gathering of relevant recall information in a single format that can be easily duplicated and disseminated to appropriate authorities.

However it is important that food businesses realise that the new format needs to be integrated with the food recall procedures set out in the food business’s Food Safety Program, rather than being a substitute for the whole Program, or even the food recall section of the Program.

This is general information rather than legal advice and is current as of 12 Dec 2015. We therefore recommend you seek legal advice for your particular circumstances if you want to rely on advice or information to be a basis for any commercial decision-making by you or your business.