FSSAI issues Food Safety and Standards (Food Recall Procedure) Regulations, 2017
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (“FSSAI”) has issued the Food Safety and Standards (Food Recall Procedure) Regulations, 2017 (“Regulation”) by virtue of F. No. 1-59/FSSAI/2009. The objective of the Regulation is to ensure removal of food under recall from all stages of the food chain, ensure dissemination of information to concerned consumers and customers and ensure retrieval, destruction or reprocessing of food under recall. This Regulation is applicable to food or food products that are determined or prima facie considered unsafe and/or as may be specified by the Food Authority from time to time.
It defines “Food recall” as: the action to remove food from the market at any stage of the food chain, including that possessed by consumers.
Following are some of the key takeaways of the Regulation:
1. Initiation of the Food recall process: Every food business operator (“FBO”) is required to follow a food recall procedure including complete process of recall, post-recall report, and follow-up action in order to ensure the effectiveness of the recall and prevent recurrence. The recall process can also be initiated as a result of reports or complaints made to the FBO by any stakeholder, and if FBO determines that there is a need to recall. The Chief executive officer of FSSAI or Commissioner of food safety of the state or union territory or both can also direct the FBO to initiate a recall process.
2. Operation of Food recall system: FBOs are required to maintain food distribution records which include the names and addresses of suppliers and customers, nature of food, date of purchase etc. and submit information as per the proforma set under Schedule I to the concerned authority immediately but not later than twenty-four hours from the time it comes to his notice that a particular food requires recall. The distribution of food under recall and its production should stop, (if it is necessary to do so) without waiting for instructions from the Chief Executive Officer, FSSAI or Commissioner of Food Safety of the State or Union.
3. Food recall plan: All FBOs engaged in manufacture or import or wholesale supply of food, regulated under the act is required to have an up to date recall plan. However, the food retailers are not required to have a food recall plan, unless they are engaged in the manufacture or importation or wholesale supply of food.
4. Recall communication: It is the responsibility of the FBO initiating a food recall to inform FBOs in the food chain including consumers about the recall, by way of phone, e-mail, fax, print media and electronic media. In case a written communication is sent, it must be conspicuously marked “Food Recall”. Once the other FBO’s under the food chain receives such an information, they will be required to carry out the instructions detailed therein by the recall initiating FBO.
5. Recall status report: The FBO is required to submit periodic status reports to the Chief Executive Officer, FSSAI and the Commissioner of Food Safety of the State or Union territory to inform them of the progress of the recall.
6. Food Recovery and Post Recall Report: The FBO is required to store the recovered food in an area which is separated from other food and the same should be identified by a label plate including prominently: “RECALLED PRODUCT NOT FIT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION”. The FBO is also required to submit a post recall report to the Chief Executive Officer, FSSAI, on completion of recall.
8. Termination of recall: In order to terminate the recall, the FBO is required to submit a written request to the Chief Executive Officer, FSSAI, along with the status report or post recall report that the recall was effective.
For a detailed read on the Regulations, please click on the link below.