In light of recent global events, proactive businesses are taking a closer look at their daily operations. Things that have held true in the past are no longer guaranteed in the future. Specifically with regards to recalls, it is a mistake to assume that just because your product has never been recalled, that situation might not change. This is why it is important for your business to have a recall plan.
Food for Thought
A recent report by the nonpartisan Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) states that food recalls as a whole increased at a rate of 10% between 2013 and 2019, with some markets nearly doubling in recalls. Contributing factors included the combination of increased production and decreased staffing, a situation which has only worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having a recall plan in place helps your business stay proactive, regaining control of an adverse situation more quickly and effectively. This is essential not only for the health of your business, but also for the health and safety of consumers.
Why You Need A Recall Plan
It is important to note that your business’ food safety plan also requires the inclusion of a recall plan. So while a recall plan is a sound addition to your business’ management strategy, indeed it is often a requirement as well.
As part of creating a plan, keep in mind the most common reasons why products are recalled. The FDA’s most recent Reportable Foods Registry (2016) lists the top three issues which account for 91% of all Class 1 recalls:
- Undeclared allergens
It can also be helpful to recognize the issues specific to your product type:
- Bakery/Snack food: undeclared allergens
- Nut products: Mycotoxin and Salmonella
- Mild ripened cheese: Listeria
- Fresh produce: Pathogenic E. coli
- Dairy: Variety of pathogens
- Meat, Poultry, Seafood: Variety of pathogens
- Egg products: Pathogens, pesticide residue
Whether you are reviewing an existing recall plan or creating a new plan, there are plenty of resources available to help. Advancements in technology have yielded dramatic improvements in delivery, tracking and organizing, and integrated business management tools. Here are some of our recommendations:
- Microsoft Business Central – Robust traceability, recall and manufacturing application designed for requirements of today’s emerging perishable food manufacturers.
- Harvest DSD – Mobile direct store delivery application for your sales team. With components like advanced predictive ordering, inventory management and contact traceability, HarvestDSD can provide the final mile for item traceability.
- Recall Evaluation – Harvest Food Solutions provides a comprehensive traceability and recall knowledge base. Let us help you design your traceability program.
At Harvest Food Solutions, we have spent decades analyzing industry best practices in order to develop systems that work. If you are in need of assistance creating or modifying your recall plan, we encourage you to give us a call.