Despite the best efforts, recalls remain an unavoidable part of doing business for food and beverage manufacturers. Food safety plans help mitigate threats that can lead to a recall, but companies can also take steps to respond quickly when a recall occurs. For example, software solutions like Supplier Compliance operate as a virtual early warning system, automatically identifying issues with incoming shipments before they reach production.
This not only prevents recalls from ever happening but also helps identify potential causes if production already began.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies recalls based on severity:
- Class I: Products that could cause serious injury or death, such as the presence of microorganisms such as Listeria or Salmonella.
- Class II: Products that might cause serious injury or temporary illness, such as food contaminated with yeast or mold.
- Class III: Products unlikely to cause injury or illness but still violate regulations, such as mislabeled products.
A regulatory agency, a consumer complaint, or the manufacturer can trigger a recall. Supplier Compliance can track complaints, whether it’s coming from the QA team or the plant floor, which can expedite a recall. Once a manufacturer or a regulator issues a recall, companies should:
- Be armed with comprehensive digital records, including a detailed recall plan. Supplier Compliance centralizes the collection and storage of compliance data, allowing teams to review specifications, track CoA trends, and run reports on any critical data with a single click.
- Notify the FDA immediately. The agency requires “that firms report to FDA within 24 hours of learning that a food has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.” This notification should include:
- Product information (including name, model, description, labeling, etc.).
- Codes/product identification numbers.
- Recalling company’s name, type, location, and contact information.
- Manufacturer information.
- Firm responsible for violation/problem.
- Reason for the recall, including a detailed description.
- Health hazard assessment.
- Volume of the recalled product.
- Distribution pattern.
- Recall strategy.
- Inform other stakeholders. This can – and should – include company employees, suppliers, brokers and distributors, and retailers. For example, with automated alerts, Supplier Compliance allows manufacturers to warn suppliers about out-of-spec ingredients quickly.
Solutions like Networked Supplier Compliance can help manufacturers quickly contain the impact of a recall, saving time, resources, and brand reputation. Find out more about how we can safeguard your company. Request a demo today.