News article

New food withdrawal and recalls guidance

5 June 2019 

Guidance launched to help businesses plan to deal with food safety incidents  

Occasionally food products may need to be recalled or withdrawn as a result of a food safety incident. For example, if an allergen is not declared on the label or if there is a risk of food poisoning bacteria contamination. 

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.

New guidance launched
The Food Standards Agency (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).

World Food Safety Day
The food withdrawals and recalls system in the UK is a critical part of ensuring food is safe and as described, helping to protect the health of consumers. For World Food Safety Day on 7 June 2019 the FSA are highlighting food withdrawals and recalls advice to businesses. 

The following video explains food recalls and why they are important: