The food safety authority down under - Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) - has launched the latest edition of the Food Industry Recall Protocol to assist the food industry on steps to take when a food recall becomes necessary.
Managing director of FSANZ, Ian Lindenmayer, said that during the last financial year there were a total of 73 recalls during the year, an increase on the previous year, of which 33 were of imported products (45 per cent).
"This number of recalls sets a new record. This figure is slightly higher than recent years due largely to the 12 soy sauce products recalled as a result of excessive levels of chloropropanols in some soy sauces.
Many of the recalls were precautionary and almost all were initiated by food companies as part of a national food safety strategy.
The increasing number of recalls reflects the greater awareness by food businesses of their obligations to act where there is any doubt about the safety of a product," concluded Lindenmayer.
The latest edition of the Food Industry Recall Protocol includes information that will assist the food industry to comply with the requirements of the new Food Safety Standards 3.2.2. This standard requires food businesses engaged in the wholesale supply, manufacture or importation of food to have a written recall procedure in place that ensures the effective recall of unsafe food.
The protocol has two levels of product recall - trade recalls and consumer recalls - in place of the three previous levels (wholesale, retail and consumer).
Trade recalls involve the recovery of food products from retailers and other distribution centres, wholesalers and catering establishments such as hospitals, restaurants and other food outlets before they reach consumers. Consumer recalls involve recovery of the product from all points in the production and distribution chain, as well as consumers.
Further information can be found on the FSANZ website.