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How to conduct a food recall

A food recall is action taken to remove from distribution, sale and consumption, food which is unsafe. 

Food manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and importers are required to have a written food recall plan.

The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Food Industry Recall Protocol provides information on recalling food in Australia and guidance for food businesses developing a written food recall plan.

Food retailers, such as supermarkets, are not legally required to have a recall plan (unless they are also involved in the wholesale, distribution or importation of food).  However they may be part of another food business' recall plan and therefore are likely to play an important part in the retrieval of recalled food.

The purpose of a food recall plan is to enable a food business to recall unsafe food from the marketplace and consumers efficiently, to protect:

  • public health and safety
  • the business reputation and brand image

Conducting a food recall

A food business that identifies a food safety issue should contact the government authority in the Australian state/territory where the head office of the food business is located. Generally, the food business makes the decision to recall food.

Food businesses are responsible for ensuring that the public is notified of a recall.

FSANZ helps food businesses to recall unsafe food in Australia by communicating recall information to the state and territory government agencies and industry groups.

FSANZ step-by-step food recall guide and associated resources

All the information you need is provided by Food Standards Australia New Zealand:

Read more about Food recalls

Last updated: 28 February 2020

Current food recalls

Read about Current food recalls, and how to sign up for alerts. Find information for consumers about food recalls.