Is your business set up to handle a recall? What would a recall cost your business? Have you reviewed your recall plan recently?

A recall brings with it anxiety, exposure, cost and impacts on production. The Yoghurt Shop had the unfortunate experience of a consumer-level recall immediately prior to Christmas.

However, despite the stress of the recall, they responded quickly, immediately contacting regulators and clients, tracing product, performing significant product testing, implementing a clearance program and investigating root causes of the incident.

The Yoghurt Shop said the key learnings from their recall experience were:

  • It’s vital that the company’s quality system is considered ahead of production.
  • Update and regularly review your Traceability and Recall Policy/Plan – The Yoghurt Shop is now on a three-monthly review cycle.
  • Test your Recall Policy/Plan when there are any business changes.
  • Make sure your Recall Policy/Plan is thorough and clear.

“It’s important to note that the action to recall unsafe or potentially unsafe products is part of Australia’s food safety system and shows the system is working,” said Dairysafe CEO Geoff Raven.

“If you’re feeling as though your business is exposed, we encourage you and your staff to get informed by doing some training as a first step.

“Traceability and recall training adds value to your business. It ensures your staff have the skills and knowledge to act, it minimises business risk and it’s a professional development opportunity for your staff. It also provides the opportunity to review your Recall Plan.”

An online Recall Training Course developed by Safe Food Production Queensland in conjunction with Dairy Australia is available and free to all dairy processors throughout Australia. To sign up for the Recall Course click here.

The course takes about two hours to complete and you can do it at your own pace, in your own time. It covers:

  • The potential impact of a food recall.
  • Who governs the recall process in Australia.
  • Your business responsibilities during a recall.
  • Communicating effectively during a recall.
  • Building resilience in your business.

“Completing the course will help your business to be prepared in the event of a recall. Any people responsible for traceability or recall in your business should complete the course,” Geoff said.

What would a recall cost you?

An online Dairy Food Recall Model has been developed to help Australian dairy businesses understand the potential costs of a food recall and help guide decisions for improvements to their procedures.

There’s a four minute video outlining everything you need to know about preparing for a product recall.

Dairysafe also has a simple ‘Recall Ready Reckoner’, a flowchart that provides guidance on some of the initial and essential steps in a recall situation.