Tip of the Week: If My Product Has Never Been Recalled, Why Do I Need a Recall Plan?

During our Monday, May 4 “Food Safety and COVID-19: What Businesses Need to Know” webinar, Earl Arnold, Food Safety Professional, highlighted the need for a strong traceability and recall plan. You can start development by downloading our free “Getting Started Guide: Traceability & Recall” to learn top traceability issues facing food plants, four steps to be recall ready, and important questions for your recall team members.

Watch Recording   Download Traceability Guide

Recalls Can Happen to Anyone

Recalls in the U.S. are increasing at a rate of approximately 10 percent per year. So it is safe to say that most companies will be impacted by a recall at some point. During the COVID-19 crisis, the risk of mistakes due to increased production and decreased staffing make a strong traceability and recall plan essential. With a recall plan in place, control of the situation can quickly be regained, mitigating long-term negative effect. In doing so, you can help keep consumers safe and strengthen your customer relationships.

Further, most food manufacturers are required to have a recall plan readily available. Even if this were not a regulatory requirement, it is a necessity for your food safety plan. The recall plan should include management’s strategy to take quick and effective action when experiencing a recall.

Common Reasons for Recalls

According to the FDA’s most recent (2016) Reportable Foods Registry (p. 10), undeclared allergens, Salmonella and Listeria account for 91 percent of all for Class 1 recalls, or those where there is an actual or potential for “death or severe illness.”

The most likely recalls by product type include:

  • Bakery/Snack food – Undeclared allergens
  • Mild ripened cheese – Listeria monocytogenes
  • Nut products – Mycotoxin and Salmonella
  • Fresh fruits & vegetables – Pathogenic E. coli
  • Dairy products – Variety of pathogens
  • Meat, Poultry & Seafood – Variety of pathogens
  • Egg products – Pathogens, pesticide residue

Manufacturers responsible for the production of these foods especially need to have a recall plan and team in place. Here are a few tools that will help get you started:

As you have questions or need additional insights, please contact us at info@aibinterantional.com.

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