159 Guidelines for traceability, recall and withdrawal

Guidelines for traceability, recall and withdrawal

Guidelines have been developed for traceability, recall and withdrawal in the grocery industry.
The guidelines are to be understood as recommendations that actors must bilaterally agree on whether to be followed or not.

The guidelines are based on Norwegian and international provisions on food safety and traceability:

  • Norwegian Food Manufacturing Act and Food Safety (Matloven, January 1, 2004.)
  • EU Food Law (Regulation EC 178/2002, January 2002), including traceability provisions, valid from 1 January 2005.

In addition, the Product Liability Act also contains general rules on safety and liability for products (food and non-food) that are supplied in the market, and that there are special provisions for medicines that also regulate traceability requirements.

Mattilsynet (The Norwegian Food Safety Authority) has had the guidelines for review and contributed comments on relevant areas.

The guidelines are the industry’s interpretation of existing laws and regulations.
The guidelines have not been legally tested, and there is currently no legal practice in the area.
By introducing the simplest systems, the legal requirements for traceability according to the industry’s perception will be satisfied.
Some types of food may be subject to additional requirements for traceability from the authorities.

More about the legal aspects can be found in Legal aspects of guidelines for traceability, recall and withdrawal.

Goals for the guidelines
The guidelines aim to “help the actors to meet the consumer expectations for safe products».

Target group for the guidelines

  • Quality assurance managers
  • Supply chain / logistics managers
  • Managers for factory and warehouse
  • Customer and consumer services
  • Legal departments
  • Communications managers
  • IT
  • Persons responsible for implementing traceability solutions

The degree of implementation and the infrastructure a business has chosen determines what investments must be made.
The costs can be significant, but the cost of not having such a function or having inefficient systems can also be significant.

It is a common opinion in the grocery industry that the use of common guidelines and standards improves efficiency and reduces total cost in the value chain.

Published on: 2. August 2018