2019-what better year to ensure your Food Recall and Traceability program are robust and compliant with the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations. Food recalls are expensive and time consuming, placing a strain on the food industry, inspectors and consumers.
Although there are many steps in place to eliminate food hazards, situations do arise where a food is thought to cause adverse health effects and needs to be removed from the hands of consumers.
Mock recalls are a vital part of your company’s food safety chain. The way you plan for a product recall will determine how the event will go in the case of a time sensitive emergency. As per the regulations, mock recalls are to be conducted at minimum yearly.
Recalls can be ordered by CFIA inspectors or the food manufacturer themselves.
It is the responsibility of the CFIA to notify the public via alerts to the media and recall information posted on its website, email distribution list and other social media outlets. Recalls are classified into 3 categories, depending on their potential identified risk: Class 1, 2, or 3.
- Class 1: High risk: the food is likely to cause serious adverse health consequences. This would include undeclared allergens and high risk of foodborne illnesses.
- Class 2: Medium risk: products that may cause temporary adverse health effects or the possibility of any serious negative health effects is remote. This would include small traces of an undeclared allergen.
- Class 3: Low risk: products that are not in compliance with regulations but are not likely to result in any adverse health consequences. This would include severe quality issues.
When a recall is necessary, it is the food manufacturer’s responsibility to trace all product and recall any food that is affected. Businesses need to have easily accessible and legible traceability records to ensure an effective and timely product investigation and/or removal. The records need to properly identify the food with common name, lot code or unique identifier, name and principal place of business.
The food manufacturer needs to retain all traceability records for at least two years.