Producers work diligently to bring safe food to market; however, problems may arise that can be attributed to many areas of the complex global value chain, some out of the direct control of producers. In some instances, it may be critical that a corrective action such as food recalls are carried out quickly and effectively and that all parties know their roles and execute flawlessly. This is where global food recall standards are vital to reducing risk and protecting lives.
In 2008, the US food industry, led by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), realized they needed to collaborate to improve food traceability and create product recall standards that would remove unsafe foods from the market more effectively.
At the time, one analyst suggested that it took an average of 18 days to sense and act on a food recall. It took a further 42 days to complete the food recall and only 43% of products – in the most serious food recall category – were actually traced (to the point of purchase). This needed to change.
GS1, a global not-for-profit standards organization, was engaged to develop a global recall standard applicable for food.