United Fresh Produce Association Introduces its Recall Ready Program

Mon. November 30th, 2015
- by Christofer Oberst     

WASHINGTON, D.C. - While detection methods within the produce industry continue to improve, contamination events warranting a recall do occur. To help with this, the United Fresh Association is looking to remind those in fresh produce to be ‘recall ready.’

“When industry recalls happen, it is important to be prepared and ready to take action,” the association stated in a press release, stating that, as unfortunate as it is, recalls happen. “Preparation begins long before the recall event occurs. Your company should have in place an organization-wide strategy for food safety and recall ready preparedness, ensuring that all employees – and business partners – understand the direct impact a recall can have on all aspects of the business and industry as a whole.”

Dr. David Gombas, Senior Vice President, Food Safety & Technology (standing) leading a Recall Ready Program discussion.

In order to help cover the various aspects to ensure that a company is ready for a recall, the United Fresh has outlined a brief, 3-step overview of how to create a strategy for if a recall occurs: Plan, Prepare, and Be Recall Ready.

PLAN: Build a recall team.

An ideal recall team includes:

  • Communications
  • Marketing and sales
  • Operations
  • Senior management
  • Food safety or quality assurance personnel

According to United Fresh, there is often a misconception that only food safety and technical staff should be trained to handle a recall. Building your recall team in advance with numerous departments included allows clear roles and responsibilities to be set for everyone involved, providing a quicker call to action. When putting this in place, a company should be sure to assess risks, as well as test and evaluate the plan.

PREPARE: Have a written plan in place.

Having a written plan ahead of a recall is another way to clearly define the team’s roles and responsibilities if a recall occurs, so that every member knows what to do for the plan to deploy. The newly published FSMA final rule, as of September 17, 2015, on Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food, also states that companies subject to the rule must have a written recall plan.

BE RECALL READY: Save time, money, and potentially lives.

By being prepared to go into action with a team, a plan, and the right industry support to ensure your company is recall ready, you can help to mitigate much of the damages that comes with a recall. The United Fresh has designed a Recall Ready Program consisting of an exclusive group of professional services, including personalized education and training, plus industry workshops and seminars.

United Fresh Recall Ready Workshop

“All Recall Ready services leverage the expertise of food safety, legal, and crisis communication professionals who know what it takes to execute a recall to protect public health, comply with government requirements, and minimize detrimental impact on your business,” the United Fresh stated.

Designed to prepare all of the fresh produce supply chain, including growers, shippers, packers, processors, wholesalers and distributors, retailers, restaurant operators and more, these programs aim to help any in the industry.

For more information on the United Fresh’s Recall Ready Program, visit www.unitedfresh.org/recall-ready-program. And to keep up on all that can aid and influence the produce industry, keep checking in with AndNowUKnow.

United Fresh Association Recall Ready Program