Food safety and animal feed incidents

Food withdrawals and recalls


As a result of a food incident, you may need to recall or withdraw a food product. It is important to plan ahead and have procedures in place so you can act quickly if a recall or withdrawal is required. 

What are food withdrawals and recalls?

A withdrawal is when unsafe food is removed from the supply chain before it has reached consumers. 

A recall is when unsafe food is removed from the supply chain and consumers are advised to take appropriate action, for example to return or dispose of the unsafe food.

Withdrawals and recalls guidance

The FSA has produced guidance to explain what the law requires and what businesses need to do.  
It includes advice and best practice on: 

  • traceability systems  
  • making a decision and carrying out a withdrawal or recall  
  • roles and responsibilities
  • how to inform consumers of a food recall

Download 'Guidance on Food Traceability, Withdrawals and Recalls within the UK Food Industry' (PDF, 1.7MB).

The FSA also offers tool and templates to help you carry out a recall.