Product Recall & Withdrawal
Though suppliers have full responsibility for removing a faulty product from the marketplace, the safety of products is a shared responsibility throughout the distribution chain. Recalls which are not handled correctly can place consumers at risk, and impose large and unnecessary costs on the companies involved and leave them liable to legal action.
ProductRecallnz is New Zealand’s new efficient online solution for recalling or withdrawing products from the food, grocery and liquor sector. Companies which have registered for the service have at their fingertips a fast, easy-to-use tool to notify their trading partners and (where applicable) the Ministry for Primary industries when a product must be pulled back from the supply chain.
ProductRecallnz has been developed by GS1 NZ in collaboration with the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council, the Foodstuffs Group, and Progressive Enterprises. Regulatory advice was provided by the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Both Foodstuffs and Progressive have declared ProductRecallnz as being the preferred method of managing recalls and withdrawals with their trading partners.
FGC encourages all members to join ProductRecallnz
To register or find out more information about ProductRecallnz,
For companies which have not registered for ProductRecallnz, ingredient suppliers, food manufacturers, wholesalers, and importers can initiate recall and withdrawal notifications by completing a paper-based standardised form and issuing to impacted trade partners by facsimile or email. The standardised form was developed by Efficient Consumer Response Australasia (ECRA) in 2005 and can be downloaded free of charge by visiting the ECRA website here.
Regulatory Requirements – Ministry for Primary Industries
When a problem has been identified in a food product that has moved beyond the control of the manufacturer or importer and into the storage, distribution, retail, or consumer chain, the company concerned should notify MPI. This is best practice.
For most companies operating under a Food Safety Programme or equivalent, their programme may state that they must notify MPI when conducting a food recall.
The specifics of each food safety-related recall will vary. There are occasions where the food supplier will need to conduct a trade-level recall only or a full consumer-level recall. The decision for which one is best or appropriate is based on the particulars of each case. This should be determined by the operator in consultation with MPI.
For recalls involving safety issues and where the product has reached the consumer market (such as shop shelves) and still presents a risk to consumers, the manufacturer/supplier can generally be expected to issue a public notification.
To assist notification coverage, MPI undertakes to copy the notification details to its website.
The website contains plenty of information on recalls for businesses:
About recalls: covers the two types of recall – trade recall and consumer recall.
Conducting a food recall: provides a quick checklist on what to do and who to contact.
Developing your food recall plan.
Access this information by going to the MPI website here.