Recall or withdrawal?

If a food needs to be withdrawn from sale, because it is unsafe, unfit to eat, or contaminated the following actions can be taken:

  • MPI issues a statutory recall under the appropriate legislation
  • The Company initiates a recall of the product with assistance from MPI
  • The Company initiates withdrawal of the product with assistance from MPI

A recall involves removing unsafe food from the distribution chain extending through to food already sold to consumers, and hence the public needs to be informed. A withdrawal stops at the point at which food is sold to consumers - only suppliers and retailers will be involved.

A statutory recall order or notice (e.g. s40 Food Act) relates to a particular food, supplied by known suppliers (importers, manufacturers or retailers) to whom the recall notice can be directed. Such detailed information is required since the public needs to be able to distinguish between foods that are safe or not safe. A recall advertisement may be published in newspapers where it has been distributed and may also be communicated through the supplier's or retailer's own communication channels (e.g. a point of sale notice). These are recorded on this page.

A company initiated withdrawal is when suppliers remove product from their shelves or storehouses before it has been sold and, therefore, a public advertisement is not needed to alert consumers.