Product Withdrawal and Recall

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Food Standards Agency Product Withdrawal and Recall

Product withdrawal and recall, may not be at the forefront of your mind, you may not even be aware of how to find information on withdrawals and recalls.

We have covered the key information to help you understand this section which can be found under Management in the Safer Food Better Business pack.

Product withdrawals and recalls are a real issue for food outlets, you will need to be aware of any withdrawals and recalls on the foods and ingredients being used in your kitchen and food that is being sold on to customers as they could contain contaminants. You will need to know what to do when something is recalled or withdrawn.

There are two categories:

  1. Contamination of food in processing, distribution, retail and catering
  2. Environmental pollution, incidents such as fires, chemicals, oil spills and even radiation

Let’s focus on the contamination of foods, as this will apply to the majority.

Contamination is described as a food incident and occurs when action is required to protect consumers due to concerns of the safety or quality of food.

Where can contaminants come from?

Processing – contamination can be down to foreign objects from the production line
Distribution – contamination from other products or damaged during transportation
Retail – contamination due to a repacking or mixing process
Catering – contamination from improper storage, from other foods or liquids

How does this affect you?

When an incident is reported the food product will likely have to be withdrawn or recalled, to remove the food from the supply chain before it reaches the end-user.
If this product is being used in your food production or being resold directly to customers you will need to take appropriate action and are advised to dispose of or return the unsafe food.

What to do?

  • If a supplier or manufacturer issues a withdrawal or recall of a product that you use or sell, make a note of the product details and the batch numbers that are affected
  • Immediately removing the affected product from use may include items on sale, from the storeroom and kitchen these items will need to be clearly labelled to show it is not to be used or sold. It’s also important to check if the kitchen has used the product as an ingredient in prepared foods.
  • Inform all staff of the issue to ensure they are aware that the product is not be used or sold
  • Tell your customers depending on the business this may be contacting them or putting up a recall notice

Legal requirements

It is a legal requirement to keep a record of all food products purchased, who you purchased them from, the date of purchase and the quantity.

To stay up to date with product withdrawals and recalls by signing up to The Food Standards Agency news  Alerts

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