Product Recall

I was pleased to have an article published in a recent ABA Natural Resource and Environment publication. The article covered “Food Labeling Issues and Trends in Europe: Lessons for US and European Practitioners from Recent Allergen Recalls”, and is now available for download here.

Since writing the article, there have been a number of further examples of recalls due to safety or allergen issues.  Only this week, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued a notification in relation to a peanut-flavoured snack product, which contains peanuts and may contain traces of other nuts and gluten, which are not stated in English on the label. Last week, both a noodle product was recalled for undeclared milk, another product was recalled because milk was not highlighted in bold on the label and a number of products were recalled for undeclared sesame. Most were reported on the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF).

In July, a listeria risk in frozen vegetables prompted recalls from supermarkets (press reports provided a full list of products recalled), with the FSA advising consumers not to eat affected products and to return them to the store for a full refund. The notification was published on RASFF, which indicates that it was notified as a result of the company’s own checks; and the product has been distributed to other member countries.

The continuing trend of recalls for allergens and other reasons are a reminder to operators which distribute foods or other products across jurisdictions, that it is worth ensuring that recall protocols and procedures cover global supplies properly, as potential issues will likely be notified rapidly in other countries (via RASFF for the EU and INFOSAN more widely and equivalent information networks for non-food products).