Food on sale for human consumption must be wholesome, unadulterated, uncontaminated, properly labelled and fit for human consumption. Violation of the provisions in these regards may lead to regulatory action against the concerned FBO under the Act, or rules and regulations made thereunder.
Section 28(1) of FSS Act, 2006 stipulates that If a food business operator considers or has reasons to believe that a food which he has processed, manufactured or distributed is not in compliance with this Act, or the rules or regulations, made there under, he shall immediately initiate procedures to withdraw the food in question from the market and consumers indicating reasons for its withdrawal and inform the competent authorities thereof.
Recall can be defined as an action to remove food products from market at any stage of the food chain, including that possessed by consumer, which may pose a threat to the public health or food that violate the Act, or the rules or regulations made thereunder.
Recall of food product is in the common interest of the industry, the government and in particular the consumer. Recalls afford equal consumer protection but generally are more efficient and timely than formal administrative or civil actions, especially when the product has been widely distributed.
Food recalls are an appropriate method for removing or correcting marketed food products and their labelling that violate the laws administered by the regulatory authority.
Manufacturers and/or distributors should initiate a recall at any time to fulfil their responsibility to protect the public health from products that present a risk of injury or gross deception, or are otherwise defective. Firms may also initiate a recall following notification of a problem by Food Authority or a state agency, in response to a formal request by authority, or as ordered by Authority.
Food Business Operators carry the prime responsibility of implementing the recall, and for ensuring compliance with the recall procedure at its various stages including follow-up checks to ensure that recalls are successful and that subsequent batches of the food products are safe for human consumption.
Food business operators shall collaborate with the concerned authorities on action taken to avoid or reduce risks posed by a food which they supply or have supplied.
A food business operator shall immediately inform the competent authorities if it considers or has reason to believe that a food which it has placed on the market may be unsafe for the consumers.
The Food Authority’s main role in a recall is to monitor the progress of the recall and assess the adequacy of the action taken by the FBO in this regard. After a recall is completed, the Food Authority will make sure that the product is destroyed or suitably improved. Where the recall is related to serious defects in the manufacturing process, the concerned authority may review the license of the FBO concerned.
The Food Authority will publicise the recall when it is of the opinion that the public need to be alerted about a health hazard or that clarification of the situation needs tobe made to allay public worries.
In cases of public health emergencies, the Food Authority may, depending on the available evidence, alert the public before a decision on recall has been reached.
All food business operators must have an up to date recall plan At the time of recall being carried out, the FBO shall submit their detailed recall plan to the CEO, FSSAI. Steps for Food Recall Plan are as under.
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