Food recall report
After you have identified the need to recall food by contacting your food recall action officer you will need to notify FSANZ. The FSANZ Recall Coordinator will ask you questions about the food you are recalling, reason for recalling and distribution of the food. The answers to these questions form the basis of an initial recall report.
Food Recall Plan Template
A written food recall system is essential to ensure unsafe food can be quickly removed from the food supply chain. Clause 12 of Standard 3.2.2 – Food Safety Practices and General Requirements, requires Australian food businesses engaged in food manufacture, importation or in the wholesale supply of food to have a written food recall system.
FSANZ has recently produced a Food Recall Plan Template to help food businesses to develop their own food recall systems, including:
- internal procedures and staff responsibilities for conducting a recall
- contact details and procedures for notification (e.g. FSANZ and home state, distributors, wholesalers, retailers and consumers)
- distribution and other records that will help identify and retrieve the recalled food
- procedures for food retrieval and assessing any returned product.
This template is provided on the understanding that businesses will exercise skill, care and judgment with respect to its use and will carefully evaluate the accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance.
The template can be adapted to suit different food businesses’ situations and requirements.
This document should be used alongside the FSANZ Food Industry Recall Protocol (7th edition, May, 2014).
For recall requirements in New Zealand and guidance material, contact the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (www.foodsafety.govt.nz).
Download the Food Recall Plan Template (word 197kb)
Template to notify your business customers of the recall
Distribution networks and trade customers need to be notified to stop distribution of the food product. The sponsor is responsible for advising all direct customers that the food is being recalled. This may include notifying distributors, wholesalers, overseas importers and retailers.
Notification should be made urgently by telephone and followed up in writing via e-mails, fax or through the use of rapid electronic systems such as GS1 Recallnet. The sponsor should confirm with its customers that the notification has been received, for example, by requesting confirmation of having received an e-mail and keep a record of this to satisfy the post recall reporting requirements.
Download the template for notifying business customers (word 24kb)
When a product is recalled, it is the Sponsor’s responsibility to notify all customers to whom they have sold the affected product. The Sponsor will also need to retain evidence of this notification in order to satisfy post recall reporting requirements.
To ensure that the distribution of recalled food is stopped the Sponsor needs to provide FSANZ with a detailed list of the businesses to whom they have directly supplied the affected product (including business name, address including state/territory, contact person and phone number). The relevant state/territory health departments may investigate to ensure these businesses have been notified of the recall details.
Post recall report
FSANZ will ask for an interim and a final post-recall report after a recall has been conducted. An interim post recall report, containing information on how you are progressing with the recall, is due two weeks after the recall has been actioned (only Part A of the post recall report template needs to be completed). A final post recall report, containing final stock recovery numbers and all final information, is due four weeks after the recall has been actioned (all questions need to be answered in post recall report template). FSANZ will advise the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the relevant state or territory health authority of the post recall information.
An example of the post recall report is below.
The most common method used by food businesses to notify the public of a consumer level food recall is a newspaper advertisement.
Details of the advertisement
We have recently revised the food recall press advertisement template so that it aligns with the recommendations of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for advertising recalls. The press advertisement should:
be enclosed in a red diagonally hatched border with the internationally recognised safety triangle in the top left-hand corner
be headed ‘Food Recall’ in red bolded text
include details of the food being recalled and a picture
include information on the types of food businesses where the food was sold
include information on the problem, the food safety hazard, what to do and contact details
be at least 12cms x 3 columns in size with a font size and style that is easy to read
appear in the front pages of the major newspapers in the state and territories where the food has been available for sale.
The advertisement should be approved by FSANZ prior to publishing. FSANZ will liaise with the Home State or territory on the advertisement, where appropriate.
The recall press advertisement template can be downloaded and used by the sponsor to prepare the recall advertisement.
Download the press advertisement template (word 44kb)
See contact details for major newspapers.
FSANZ has developed a template that sponsors can use to assist them prepare a media release for a food recall. Media releases are an effective way of communicating recalls to the public and sponsors undertaking a consumer level recall should consider issuing one. This is particularly important if the food product presents a very high food safety risk to the public, for example, the recalled food has been associated with illness. The media release should contain the same information as a paid press advertisement and should be developed jointly by the sponsor and the home state.
The sponsor should identify a company contact person to liaise with the media. The person’s contact details should be included on the media release to allow access to further information.
A media release can be published through a media release distribution service. You can find details about media release distribution services by using an internet search or searching the yellow pages.
Download the media release template (word 34kb)
Radio advertisement template
Radio advertising can be effective in reaching a large audience, or to target a specific audience and can work well in addition to newspaper advertisements. The sponsor can use the radio advisement template to assist with drafting a radio announcement for a consumer level food recall.
Download the radio advertisement template (word 24kb)