If a product does not meet the requirements of food safety or quality, this can lead to a recall of the product in question. Incidents may also occur or it may be that a regulator from the government intervenes. Various food safety standards have a duty to report recalls and incidents. These standards also include a term within which the certifying body must be informed. This is usually three working days. During the audit, the auditor will check whether this method has been included in the procedures and also checks whether this obligation has been met in the past year.
Reporting to MPS-ECAS: what and how to report
The following applies to ISO 22000:
Only real recalls need to be reported. The blocking of products in storage, or under the control of the producer (for example, storage at a logistics service provider, but not yet delivered to a customer) falls outside the notification requirement. This also applies to exceedances of (for example MRL) levels about which the customer is informed, but where no recall is necessary after consultation with the NVWA / FAVV. The NVWA notification guide can be used as a guide for recall (reports). If a recall is reported to MPS-ECAS, we also request confirmation of the notification to the NVWA / FAVV. Incidents that have a direct impact on production and measures by the government (penalty reports, shutdowns) must also be reported.
The following applies to BRCGS:
Besides the regular reporting rules as mentioned above, there is also the duty to report products that are withdrawn, such as products under the producer’s control (think storage at a logistics provider), but not yet delivered to a customer. This only applies if the withdrawal is food safety-related.
The certificate holder must report a decision to recall the products placed on the market in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org within three working days of taking the decision.
MPS-ECAS assesses the notification and then determines whether an additional investigation should take place and what the consequences are for the certificate holder. If it concerns a BRCGS certified company, the recall will be reported in the BRCGS database by MPS-ECAS.
Incident reporting points for attention
Clarity regarding the eventual recall:
• Reason for the recall.
• How much of which product, how much was returned, how was the returned product handled, what is the status of the product that has not been returned, etc.
• Corrective action: what actions have been taken and / or planned to minimize the chance of recurrence of these types of incidents.
Not all information may be available on first transmission. In that case, it is important to make the report in time and additional details (for example about cause and corrective measures) can be added later.