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Food recalls

(December 2014)

FSANZ coordinates and monitors food recalls in Australia. Recalls occur as a result of consultation between state and territory government and a sponsor (usually the food product's manufacturer or importer).

In New Zealand, food recalls are coordinated by the Ministry for Primary Industries. 

If you are a food business looking to undertake a food recall in Australia contact the FSANZ Recall Coordinator on 02 6271 2610 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) or 0412 166 965 (after hours).

Please note: the information below applies only within Australia.

What is a food recall?

A food recall removes food that may pose a health or safety risk from distribution, sale and consumption.

A food recall may occur because of a report or complaint from manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, government and consumers. It may also occur as a result of a food business conducting internal testing and auditing.

Food recalls can be at the trade or consumer level.

A food withdrawal, which is different from a food recall, removes food from the supply chain for reasons other than protection of public health and safety, for example, if the food is labelled as 200 grams but weighs only 150 grams.

Information for industry

When a food safety issue is identified, food businesses must be able to quickly remove unsafe food from the marketplace to protect the health and safety of consumers.

FSANZ helps food businesses to recall unsafe food in Australia by communicating recall information to the state and territory government agencies and industry groups.

Food businesses are responsible for ensuring that the public is notified of a recall.

Find out how to conduct a recall.


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Consumer advice

To view the latest consumer recalls, visit our current consumer level recalls page.

You can also stay informed by subscribing to our Food Recall alert, liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter .

Information on product safety recalls, including but not limited to, food products is also available on the Product Safety Recalls website coordinated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission .

Food recall statistics

We have been collecting statistics on Australian food recalls since 1990, including the causes of all recalls and their domestic or overseas origins.

Food recalls are classified under the following categories:

  • microbial
  • labelling
  • undeclared allergen
  • foreign matter
  • chemical/contaminant
  • biotoxin
  • tampering
  • packaging fault
  • ‘other’

Of the 663 recalls coordinated from 2002 until 31 December 2011, 229 (35%) were due to microbial contamination and 218 (33%) were due to labelling issues, including undeclared allergens.

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