Improvements urged to product recall system

By Michelle Perrett contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Consumer protection

Asda and Tesco both issued food product recalls last week
Asda and Tesco both issued food product recalls last week
Businesses, including food and drink manufacturing firms, have been urged by the government to join a steering group to improve the system of product safety recalls.

The announcement is part of a government response to an independent review led by campaigner and journalist Lynn Faulds Wood.

In March 2015, the Department of Business Innovation & Skills revealed the investigation would focus on how to make enforcement more effective and explore the consumer understanding of the process.

Faulds Wood praised manufacturers for making the safety of consumers a “top priority”​ but said the system was not working as effectively as it could.

The government has supported her call for the development of a business-led online ‘centre of excellence’. The website will communicate key information to consumers and allow firms to share best practice.

Businesses and enforcers

A range of her recommendations, including: a project to explore greater data sharing; a comprehensive review of guidance for businesses and enforcers; a ‘university challenge’ partnership to tap into the creative talent in colleges and universities; and the set-up of the industry-led steering group have also received government backing.

Business minister Anna Soubry said: “People rightly deserve the assurance that if they buy a product that turns out to be unsafe, this can quickly be rectified. The government places a very high value on consumer safety, but industry also has a crucial role to play in protecting consumers.

“I am keen that businesses work together to provide the solutions and improve the systems so we can reduce the number of incidents and keep people safe.”

Faulds Wood welcomed the government’s response. “I look forward to hearing about the development of a steering group to take my recommendations forward and very much hope that my involvement in this important area can be continued,”​ she said.

Food products recalled

Meanwhile, a range food products was recalled last week.

On Friday (February 19) supermarket chain Asda withdrew its Extra Special Chocolate and Beetroot Cake because some packs might contain contains walnuts, which are a possible health risk for anyone with intolerance to nuts.

The Nut House also recalled its range of ‘Tasty Bake’ brand cakes because the products contained milk, which was not mentioned in the ingredients list on the packaging.

Asda and Tesco have also been forced to recall certain bread products from Boulder Brands UK because a seed mix ingredient contained undeclared sesame seeds.

Food and drink recalls soared by 78% last year​, according to a recent report.

Meanwhile, read The Faulds Wood Report here​ and details of food and drink safety recalls here​. 

Food recalls last week

  • Asda withdrew its Extra Special Chocolate and Beetroot Cake because some packs might contain walnuts
  • Nut House recalled its range of ‘Tasty Bake’ brand cakes because the products contained milk 
  • Asda and Tesco have recalled certain bread products from Boulder Brands UK because a seed mix ingredient contained undeclared sesame seeds

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2 comments

Food, the scariest thing

Posted by David Goldstein,

Three things you can count on these days: death, taxes, and food recalls. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUfpEJCrch0

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The food industry is already ahead of the game

Posted by John Foster,

The report is about product recalls in general - not food safety specific matters.
Many of its recommendations already exist in the UK food industry. After all the UK food industry is probably the most regulated and controlled food industry in the world and more controlled than many industry sectors.

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