How to Recall a Food Product

A food product it will need to be recalled if it is found to be unsafe, . The purpose of product recall is to prevent illness or injury. Because of this, the recall must be carried out quickly to reduce the risk to the customer.

Recall product from your Consumers

If you know who and where your consumers are a recall will not be difficult. Especially if,  QualDes sets up your traceability procedure.  You will know how much product you have produced and were that product is located. Having said this, it can be difficult to trace all product. Normally this is done using best before or use by dates.  The size of the product recall will reduce to just one days production.

You will issue a media release to reach consumers.  FSANZ have good information on how to issue a media release. You are also required to record all your actions during a product recall.  This means, you will show due diligence as an outcome of the food recall.

Planning for a Food Recall

The impact on your business will be minimised if you are well prepared. .  Keep detailed records of your customers and suppliers.  Therefore,  ensuring you can reach them quickly and easily.

Your product tracking system must be robust.  Therefore, think about what tracking method is best for you.  Once you have done this, it is important that every product displays this tracking number. This will mean the scope of the recall will be reduced. It also means, all the recall product will be located.

Establish who is responsible for specific recall tasks. Also, decide the best way to collect and destroy recalled product. Remember, being prepared can save you significant time, when conducting a food recall.


It’s essential that you get the recall right the first time. For this reason it is important to practice doing a recall to make sure your systems are working. QualDes can help you write your recall procedure and carry out your mock recall.  Conducting a mock recall is a requirement of your food safety system.

Check List for conducting a Food Recall

Conduct your product recall using this list:-

  • Firstly you need to notify – company management, Insurance Company, Government Departments
  • Your suppliers are to be identified
  • Don’t forget, Stop distribution of product immediately
  • Now, use your tracking system to find the product to be recalled
  • Most importantly, Tell – media, customers/distributors/retailers, company staff
  • The next step, Investigate nature, extent, cause and remedy of problem
  • Your diary of actions needs to be kept up to date
  • Keep records of every thing
  • Also, arrange pick up and transport of product
  • Keep samples of recalled product for testing
  • Arrange disposal of recalled product
  • Lastly, determine the success of the recall

Here, at QualDes we recommend having this checklist as part of your recall procedure.  Don’t forget that our consultants can not only assist you in conducting a successful product recall, but can also minimise your chances of a recall.  Using our risk assessment, compliant labelling, and food safety services.

We have been providing consulting services to business in the food service industry for nearly 25 years. QualDes are one of the few food consulting firms providing exceptional, client-focused consulting services. Therefore, ensuring your place at the forefront of the food service industry.

Our clients include companies of all sizes from start-ups to multinationals.   Such companies as Subway, JDE Coffee and Tea, Inghams , Primo Small Goods, and Fonterra. If you are faced with a product recall and need assistance navigating the steps – or if you would like a risk assessment or support with another aspect of your food service business – contact QualDes for help.

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