The consultation follows research conducted by the FSA in 2017 to understand food withdrawal and recall systems in the UK, which resulted in recommendations from the industry for improvement.
Developed by the UK’s Central Competent Authorities in partnership with the FSA and Food Standards Scotland, the guidance would assist food businesses in complying with food law and clarify the roles, responsibilities and expectations of the key players involved in food withdrawals and recalls in the UK.
Other key parts of the FSA’s guidance included improvement to the accessibility and consistency of recall information directed at consumers, enhancing business-to-business communications about recalls and establishing guidance on root cause analysis procedures for use by the industry.
‘Created with food businesses in mind’
Ron McNaughton, head of the Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit, said: “This guidance has been created with food businesses in mind, to help them carry out food safety withdrawals and recalls with greater ease and effectiveness.
“We would welcome feedback. The responses we receive will help us to make sure the guidance is beneficial and helpful to businesses in the event of a food safety incident.”
The FSA estimated the implementation of the new guidance would increase overall costs by £7,371 for food business, with a ‘theoretical maximum’ of £1.9m.
Summary of responses
The consultation will be open for four weeks until 4 February 2019 and should be sent to Qroovr.Funecr@sbbq.tbi.hx. The organisation said it aimed to publish a summary of responses received within three months of the consultation ending.
Meanwhile, a Scottish MSP has called for tougher labelling legislation after a freedom of information request found almost one-in-five failed food standards tests in the country were down to mislabelling.
Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles argued that there was a there was a “strong case for more robust regulation”.