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Recall Procedures For Food Distributor/Broker

Recall Broker Distributor Australia

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#1 Zowie


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Posted 22 September 2017 - 05:44 AM

Hi Everyone,


I am currently trying to develop a Recall plan for our company which is a distributor/broker of food ingredients. We import goods from around the world and distribute them within Australia and New Zealand. All our goods are sold as is, under no circumstance would they be opened.


Being the middle man in the supply chain can be difficult as we need to support the strict safety regulations of our large suppliers and customers but understanding our responsibilities and requirements can be a very grey area. Most food recall plans have a focus from a food manufacturing perspective, so when we are asked to create a recall plan or be HACCP certified, things can easily become very over-complicated. We as food brokers are a vital link in traceability and efficient food recalls however there are not many resources that detail our responsibility and requirements. 


Are we allowed to initiate a food recall? or is this the authority of our supplier/manufacturer? What is our role/responsibility in a food recall? 


If anyone has any experience in this area or good resources please link them below, I would greatly appreciate it.


Thanks in advance.

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#2 Panos


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Posted 22 September 2017 - 01:42 PM

Hi Zowie

To initiate a recall there must be a reason. From what you have said in your post if you only distribute goods that are prepackaged the only way you can initiate a recall is if the products at storage were adulterated (Temperature abuse, pest presence, etc.). Even at that point you might not have purchased the total batch so the recall will be limited (Which makes it a bit harder to issue a recall in my opinion). 

The only other way I think that you will be involved in a recall is if your suppliers inform you of a product that did not meet specifications and it entered commerce. 

In general a recall is required when the product is being considered adulterated. If the product was adulterated at your facility then you will have to notify your customers of the issue, and issue a recall.

Hope the above helps

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#3 Vinodhini


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Posted 23 September 2017 - 02:56 AM

Hi zowie,


If you are directly procuring from manufacturer, you may assess the traceability / recall system of your manufacturer through questionnaire. At times you shall test your manufacturer to provide traceability summary for any particular lot code you chose. 


If you import your goods through a middle agent, you shall ask your middle agent to provide traceability details of their manufacturer.



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#4 Karenconstable


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Posted 02 October 2017 - 01:19 AM

As the other posters have said, a recall is required if you become aware of a problem with your product that could make it dangerous to consumers.  For example, if your supplier informed you of a food safety problem with one of their products, you should initiate a recall to remove the food from the marketplace.  If someone else finds a problem with one of your products, then the authorities may contact you to ask you to conduct a recall. 


For Australia, FSANZ (Food Standards Australia and New Zealand) provides excellent guidance and help. FSANZ has a national recall coordinator who you can telephone any time (24/7).  If you think you might need to initiate a recall they will help you decide if a recall is necessary and how to get started.  They liaise with you every step of the way.  


There is lots of very good information on this page:  http://www.foodstand...es/default.aspx


As for recall plans, you can download a template from that web page.  Your responsibilities and the actions you will need to take in a recall are the same as for a food manufacturer so the template on the FSANZ page is perfectly suitable for distributors and brokers.  The sections about identifying food safety hazards and actions taken to mitigate food safety risks would be completed with the help of your suppliers, or customer/s - depending on who identified the problem -  and in consultation with the food safety authority in your home state.


Your responsibilities in a recall vary, depending on who initiated the recall and the level of the recall (trade level or consumer level), but essentially your job will be to (help) make sure that no affected product reaches a consumer.  The aim is to ensure that all affected product is found, isolated, completely removed from the supply chain, destroyed securely and that these actions are properly documented. 

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