New Delhi: Food safety regulator FSSAI asked companies to put in place a proper plan to recall food products from markets if found unsafe and also inform the authority about the same.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued detailed guidelines on recall of food products and said that the purpose is to help food business operators (FBOs) frame a proper recall plan and implement them when the situation demand.
“At the time of recall being carried out, the FBO shall submit their detailed recall plan to the CEO, FSSAI,” the regulator said.
According to FSSAI, food recalls are an appropriate method for removing or correcting marketed food products and their labeling that violate the laws administered by the regulatory authority.
Recall can be defined as an action to remove food products from the market at any stage of the food chain, including that possessed by the consumer, which may pose a threat to the public health or food that violate the Act, or the rules or regulations made thereunder.
As per the guidelines, FSSAI as outlined FBOs to follow 10 steps to carry out entire recall exercise.
The key steps are that FBOs need to set up a recall management team, inform the regulator, identify all products to be recalled, detain and segregate products to be recalled which are in the company’s control besides verifying the effectiveness of the recall.
“The recovered product must be stored in an area which is separated from any other food product. Accurate records are to be kept of the amount of recovered product and the batch codes of the product recovered,” the FSSAI said.
After recovery, products may be corrected or reprocessed before releasing to the market if it is fit for human consumption.
“Otherwise the product is to be destroyed. The action to be taken on the recalled product should be approved by the Competent Authority,” it added.
FSSAI further said the companies, which have produced unsafe products, should take steps so that the need for such recalls do not arise again in future.